Scaling & Root Planing
Gingivitis is a disease that left untreated, will cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. Just the word gingivitis can strike panic in a patient’s mind. The reality is that the treatment is simple and performed right in your dentist’s office.
Plaque and tartar that sit on the teeth provide an environment which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed. The condition becomes more noticeable when you brush your teeth or sometimes when you eat. These are signs of the early stage of gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily treated by having the hygienist scale and polish the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will progress and the roots will need a planing. The difference between scaling and root planing is simple. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface. Root planing is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.
As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and root planing is performed under local anesthesia, in the dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis and periodontitis make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one side of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.