Scaling & Root Planing


Bacteria which are allowed to remain on the teeth for an extended time will accumulate and form a hard deposit on the surface of the tooth and root surface. This hard substance is called Calculus or Tartar.  Metal hand instruments and/or other powered instruments must be utilized to remove the hard deposits. This process of removing the calculus is called Scaling. Bacteria and bacterial products invade the tooth structure and contaminate it with toxins, etc. The process of removing the contaminated layer of tooth structure is called Root Planing.


How is Scaling and Root Planing Performed?


Once you have completed your initial examination and Dr. Fletcher has recommended Scaling and Root Planing, he will discuss the various options for sedation. Local anesthetic is often provided in order to numb the areas which will undergo the treatment.


Will Scaling and Root Planing cure the periodontal disease?


Shallow periodontal pockets should respond well to scaling and root planing alone. However, moderate periodontal pockets which may be cleansed during therapy may then not be accessible by the patient.  These moderate pockets will then become re-infected by the oral bacteria and become active periodontal disease sites. These moderate sites and also deep periodontal pocket sites will NOT typically respond to scaling and root planing alone. Surgical therapy will be necessary to change the anatomic shape in the area and allow access for oral home care by the patient.


Why should you undergo Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?


Eliminating periodontal disease not only helps to save teeth, it can improve your overall health.  Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal disease but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.