What is a root planing?
If you have gum disease, you have calculus and tartar below the gum line, and that means you’ve not had a dental cleaning frequently enough. The tartar that’s building up above the gum line is slowly creeping down past the gum line. So, the gum doesn’t quite attach to the tooth directly.
If your dental hygienist cleans your teeth every 3 months or so, you know that a routine professional cleaning involves scaling teeth and the gumline to remove plaque and tartar, and polishing to remove stains and smooth the tooth’s surface.
When Is Scaling and Root Planing Recommended?
Although routine cleanings are done to prevent periodontal (gum) disease, scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure done to treat periodontal disease.
Whether you call it deep cleaning, or root planing and scaling teeth, this conservative procedure plays a critical role in treating periodontal disease. So, if your dentist recommends scaling and root planing for you, rest assured it’ll put you on the road to good periodontal health.
After the Procedure
At a follow-up visit, your dentist will want to check on the healing of your gums and the status of your pockets. The good news is that in most cases, red or swollen gum tissue becomes firm and pink again, bleeding is reduced or eliminated and pockets get smaller. If your gum tissue has responded well and remains stable, you may not need any further treatment.
More advanced periodontal conditions, on the other hand, may require surgical interventions by a periodontist after root planing and scaling to stop the progression of bone loss. However, your scaling and root planing treatment often lessens the amount of surgery you need.