Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the scaling and root planing, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about scaling and root planing.

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

The initial phase of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough periodontal cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove deposits of dental plaque and calculus that have accumulated on the teeth and roots. These deposits cause infections that result in gingival inflammation and periodontal disease. Scaling with root planing is often the only care that early periodontal disease cases require. These procedures are commonly preformed on cases of gingivitis but can also be applied to moderate and severe periodontal disease.

What do the procedures entail?

Dr. Adornato will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough periodontal examination of the mouth. This examination may include x-rays and a thorough clinical evaluation of the gums and jawbones supporting the teeth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of the jawbone destruction, Dr. Adornato may recommend scaling and root planing. In all cases, a local anesthesia will be used during the procedure to make your visit comfortable.  We treat you with the same level of care we would extend to ourselves and our families.

  • Scaling:
    Scaling is the thorough removal of calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth and root surfaces. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with special dental instruments called sonic or ultrasonic scaling devices. The scaling procedures include an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antibiotic solution below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is completed to remove the diseased outer layer of the root surface.  This outer layer is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing.  The smooth root surface also helps prevent bacteria from easily re-colonizing in the future.

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Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins causing periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Adornato may place antibiotic agents in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

When deep supporting bone loss occurs between teeth and gums (periodontal pockets), it is difficult for Dr. Adornato and his staff to thoroughly remove all of the plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently a minor , in-office, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.

Fill out our Appointment Form or call us at Ann Marie Adornato DMD, MSD, PC Periodontics and Dental Implants Phone Number 315-451-7151 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adornato today!

Benefits of Treatment

Successfully completed, scaling and planing procedures hold many periodontal benefits for our patients. Primarily, scaling and root planing will help prevent periodontal disease and other systemic diseases. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other organs within the body (heart, lungs, liver and even unborn babies),  Scaling and root planing helps to remove the bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When supporting bone loss (periodontal pockets) exceeds 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize.  This bacterial growth (infection) eventually results in a chronic inflammatory response that destroys healthy gingiva and bone tissue. This process directly leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing.  It will also reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra ‘whitening’ bonus to the procedures.