Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing
Periodontal disease is not only preventable, but also treatable. Because the disease is caused by an infection of bacteria, dentist and periodontists can work to manage the infection using a procedure known as periodontal scaling and root planing.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a professional removal of the tartar that is responsible for periodontal disease. This tarter is a hardened form of plaque that harbors harmful bacteria. It is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing techniques. During scaling, a dentist or periodontist uses special instruments to remove the tartar from the teeth. Root planing follows, during which the tooth root is smoothed to prevent future tartar accumulation. A topical or oral antibiotic may also be administered to eliminate all remaining bacteria and prevent recurrent infection. Patients may be advised to pursue a healthier diet and to quit using tobacco products.
Other Treatments and Recommendations
Some types of advanced periodontal disease may require additional treatment and management. Patients with advanced gum or bone loss may benefit from grafting, and those who have deep pockets in the gums may undergo flap surgery to help the gums better adhere to the teeth.