What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Discover how this one procedure can treat your gum disease effectively.

With some form of gum disease effecting approximately 90 percent of the American population, it’s important that you see your North root planing and scalingCharleston, SC dentists--Dr. Riley Cates, Dr. Maurice Weintraub and Dr. Ryan Emerson--every six months for routine exams. There we can do cleanings and catch any signs of gum disease earlier so we can treat it more efficiently. Of course if we recommend scaling and root planing, it’s important that you understand more about your upcoming procedure.

What is scaling and root planing?

This is one of the most common treatment options for treating gum disease. The purpose of this treatment is to remove tartar and plaque from the surface of the tooth, below the gumline and on the tooth’s root. When plaque stays on teeth too long it hardens into tartar, which your toothbrush won’t be able to remove--only your North Charleston general dentist has the proper tools. By removing this buildup and smoothing the root surface, we can target the cause of your gum disease.

Why is this performed?

Bacteria causes gum disease, and both plaque and tartar make it easier for bacteria to stick to your teeth. So, the purpose of scaling and root planing is to remove both plaque and tartar. If you are only in the earliest stages of gum disease (known as gingivitis), then this may be the only treatment you need. But if you are dealing with a more severe case of gum disease, this may be recommended before considering surgical options.

What does the procedure entail?

Scaling and root planing are performed using both traditional hand tools and ultrasonic scalers. The purpose of the ultrasonic tools is to easily remove plaque and tartar from the crown and roots of the tooth, as well as flush out debris around the tooth.

The hand instruments will then be used to remove any remaining plaque or tartar buildup. This can be completed in one visit if you are dealing with gingivitis. But if you have a more advanced case, then you’ll probably need to come back for multiple visits.

Dealing with gum disease? Experiencing common symptoms of gum disease? Just need to schedule your six-month appointment? Then call North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC for all of your dental needs.