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Answering Most Asked Questions About Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing

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If you suffer from severe gum disease known as periodontitis, you might need tooth scaling and root planing to treat inflamed gums and remove tartar. These deep-cleaning procedures chip off the tartar that hardens to the teeth’ surface and roots. Going for this treatment can help prevent the loss of bone, teeth, and gums. 

In this blog, we will provide answers to common questions about tooth scaling and root planing.

What Are Tooth Scaling And Root Planing?

Tooth scaling and root planing are usually known as deep cleaning in the field of dentistry. The procedure helps remove tartar (a hardened form of plaque) that adheres to the gums and teeth. If not removed on time, the plaque and tartar can contribute to the chances of suffering from complicated dental problems. Tooth scaling and root planing are recommended if you suffer from periodontitis. 

Tooth scaling involves removing tartar from the teeth that are visible when you smile. On the other hand, root planing helps to get rid of tartar from the roots of your teeth below the gumline. 

Who Performs Tooth Scaling And Root Planing?

Dentists and periodontists offer tooth scaling root planing treatment. The procedure is usually performed by dental hygienists. Both the toot scaling and root planing can be completed in one visit. 

Who Needs Tooth Scaling And Root Planing?

You are more likely to suffer from gum problems as you grow old. Studies have shown that almost half of the American population above the age of thirty suffer from periodontal problems. Nearly 3 out of 4 people above the age of 65 suffer from gum disease. 

Some of the common risk factors for periodontitis include:

  • Diabetes
  • Health conditions like arthritis, heart problems, etc
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Hormone changes related to dental health, such as pregnancy gingivitis or the ones caused due to certain types of birth control
  • Defective dental fillings or improperly fitted dental bridges
  • Crooked teeth or overbite
  • Poor dental hygiene routine
  • Excessive stress
  • Smoking

What Happens Before Tooth Scaling And Root Planing?

Periodontal problems usually do not cause pain in the early stages. Your dentist can diagnose periodontitis during a dental checkup. You might also be recommended to undergo dental X-rays to look for signs of bone loss, abscessed teeth, and cavities. He/she will also discuss the treatment options available if you suffer from periodontitis. Tooth scaling and root planing will be performed in future appointments. 

What Happens During Tooth Scaling?

Your dentist or dental hygienist uses a vibrating tool called the ultrasonic scaler to perform the scaling procedure. The steps of scaling include:

  • A vibrating metal tip on the scaler removes the tartar from your teeth above your gumline.
  • A water spray on the scaler washes away the tartar from the teeth and flushes plaque from the gum pockets.
  • Your dental hygienist uses a scraping device and a manual dental scaler to remove the remaining pieces of tartar.

What Happens During Root Planing?

Root planing is just like tooth scaling. The only difference is that this process involves deep cleaning of the teeth below the gumline. 

Your dental hygienist will follow these steps during root planing:

  • A tool will gently push aside your gum tissues to expose the roots’ surface.
  • The same tools used for tooth scaling are used in the case of root planing. 
  • In some situations, antibiotic medication can be injected directly into any gum pockets. 

We hope you now know important details about root planing and tooth scaling. Book your appointment with West Olds Dental if you are looking for the best quality deep cleaning treatments in Street Olds, Alberta. We are always here to assist you in the best possible way.


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