Deep scaling and root planning

Deep scaling and root planning

Deep scaling and root planning is the process which gets rid of the etiologic agents which trigger inflammatory effects. As periodontal disease causes inflammation to the gums and therefore requires treatment, deep scaling and root planning are among the procedures.

With plaque and tartar clustering on the teeth, the bacteria have the ideal situation to blossom and increase. These bacteria will cause problems later on, such as bleeding gums, and create diseases like periodontal disease. Deep scaling and root planning is done to clean the teeth and get rid of those bacteria.

Deep scaling and root planning consists of two components; deep scaling and root planning. Scaling is the procedure by which the dental tartar is removed from the surface of the teeth, while root planning is the procedure which smooths the root surfaces and removes any infected tooth structure. Both these procedures are usually done together because when the tartar is removed, the appropriate root planning is done as well.

Sometimes, if the gum pockets are very deep, or the root surface is too irregular, then the process of deep scaling and root planning can be slightly uncomfortable. Therefore the periodonist or the dental hygienist might opt to numb the area.

If the pockets in the gums are not too deep, the process can be painless and comfortable, and there would be no requirement for numbing the area. The only sensation which the patient has in this situation is the physical scraping feeling along the teeth.  Deep gum pockets can be significantly decreased with deep scaling and root planning processes.

Usually the complete process of deep scaling and root planning is broken into a few visits. Sometimes, the upper part of the oral cavity is done in one appointment, while the other three parts are done in other separate visits, while at other times half of the cleaning is done in a visit and the other half in the other visit. Spreading the treament out makes the deep scaling and root planning more manageable, and it helps the patients by only freezing a part of the mouth during the visit instead of freezing the complete mouth at once.

Predictable effects of the deep scaling and root planning process

  • The discomfort which the patient feels after the cleaning process might vary from patient to patient. However, it is better to be prepared for soreness after the process because the deeper regions of the gums have been cleaned

  • Teeth will become a lot more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, temporary bleeding can also be expected

  • Your periodonist or dental hygienist can suggest the appropriate pain-killers for you if required

  • You would be required to either postpone brushing and flossing your teeth, or at least do it more gently to avoid any possible pain or bleeding

  • If required, your dental hygienist might also recommend you use salt water or chlorhexidine rinses.


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