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John P. Goodman DDS

What Patients Should Know About Root Planing and Scaling

By Dr. John Goodman on December 18, 2013

What Patients Should Know About Root Planing and ScalingThere are many different issues out there with regard to dental health and overall wellness. When you visit our cosmetic dentistry center, we will be able to help you get the treatment that you need when it is needed most. We won't just consider the health of your teeth but the gums and other structures of your mouth.

One common problem that people take for granted involves the overall condition of the gums and the gumline. We're talking about gum disease, which we want to look t in brief before turning our attention to the nature of root planing and root scaling.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This is caused by the same bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath and tooth decay to occur.

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

It's easier to treat gum disease in its earliest stages, so be sure to meet with your dentist for regular check-ups twice a year so that these matters can be addressed as soon as possible. Treatment usually involves getting the infection under control and then addressing tooth and gum damage that were caused by the infection.

Root Planing and Root Scaling In Basic Terms

Sometimes referred to as “deep cleaning,” root planing and scaling are two separate procedures that are commonly performed together.

  • Root scaling - Root scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from around the root structure and gumline
  • Root planing - Root planing involves smoothing out the rough parts of a tooth's exposed root structure to prevent bacteria from hiding there and causing gum disease

Ideal Candidates for Root Planing and Root Scaling

The best candidates for root scaling and root planing are people who have suffered from gum disease and gum recession and may have issues with tartar build-up along the gumline. Any tooth decay beneath the gumline will likely be addressed as part of this procedure as well.

The Root Planing and Scaling Procedure

Local anesthetic is used to numb the gumline before treatment can begin. While the tools used for root planing and scaling rarely cause major discomfort, the local anesthetic ensures that patients are able to sit back and relax without any anxiety.

Tartar and plaque are carefully scraped away, and the root structure surface is smoothed out. Sometimes antibiotic may be applied to the treatment area in order to ensure the gum infection is under control.

What to Expect After Root Planing and Scaling

After root planing and root scaling, patients can expect their gums to be numb and tender for a few hours. This should subside by the next day. Soreness, if any is experienced, is typically mild.

Basic Tips for Preventative Care

One sure way to prevent gum disease from occurring and the need for dental crowns later in life is to practice good dental hygiene. That means:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
  • Flossing your teeth at least once a night
  • Visiting your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups

Learn More About General Dental Care Treatments

If you would like to learn more about your many options out there for advanced dental treatments, be sure to contact our Kansas City dental care center today. The entire team here looks forward to going over these matters with you in greater detail and helping you achieve the smile of your dreams.

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Kansas City, MO 64116

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