The Benefits of Root Planing and Scaling

By Dr. Damon on July 21, 2015

A 3-D rendering of a full tooth, including roots, wrapped in grid linesIf you suffer from gum disease, root planing and scaling is an effective treatment option. Root planing and scaling is used to deep clean the teeth down to the roots beneath the gum line. General dentistry treatments, like root planing and scaling, can help get your oral health back on track. Learn more about the benefits of root planing and scaling in this overview from Fort Worth dentist Clark Damon.

What Is Root Planing and Scaling Treatment?

The root planing and scaling procedure is highly effective at treating mild to moderate gum disease, specifically when gum disease has led to pockets forming between the teeth and gums. Pockets are dangerous to oral health because they allow plaque, tartar, and bacteria to settle between the gums and teeth, eventually reaching the tooth's roots. This leaves the portions of the tooth below the gum line vulnerable to decay, infection, and tooth loss because these areas are difficult to clean with a toothbrush. Root planing and scaling must be performed to remove debris below the gum line and close periodontal pockets.

A relatively simple procedure, root planing and scaling begins with the numbing of the gums to ensure that each patient is comfortable during treatment. Once the gums are numb, special scraping tools are used to gently remove calcified tartar and other debris from the teeth, both at and below the gum line. An ultrasonic tool may be used to remove large pieces of debris while a metal dental scraping tool is used to finely detail and clean the teeth. As debris is removed, a water irrigation system is used to wash away debris and a suction tool is used to remove water and saliva. In cases where large pockets have developed, antibiotic fibers may be placed to prevent infection as the gums heal and the pockets close. After about a week, the fibers will be removed. 

What Are the Benefits of Root Planing and Scaling Treatment?

For those who suffer from gum disease, root planing and scaling offers many benefits to improve oral health. Root planing and scaling can prevent gum disease from leading to major dental problems and prevent the need for more costly dental work. Some of the many benefits of root planing and scaling treatment include:

  • Stops gum disease: Root planing and scaling is highly effective at treating gum disease and can help get your gum health back on track.
  • Prevents tooth loss: Large pockets between the teeth and gums, and infection and decay around the tooth roots can lead to tooth loss. Root planing and scaling can stop these problems before they result in tooth loss.
  • Prevents tooth decay: Root planing and scaling removes plaque and tartar build up, preventing tooth decay and periodontal pockets.
  • Protects the tooth's roots: Root planing and scaling can protect the roots of our teeth when harmful plaque and bacteria begin to build up below the gum line.
  • Can eliminate bad breath associated with gum disease: Gum disease and other oral health problems, like tooth decay, can cause chronic bad breath. By treating gum disease, root planing and scaling can help improve bad breath.

Find Out if You're a Candidate

If you suffer from mild to moderate gum disease, you may be a good candidate for root planing and scaling treatment. Patients with severe gum disease may benefit from alternative treatments. To find out which treatment is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Damon.

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