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Scaling and Root Planning

Deep Cleaning Root Procedures for a Healthy Mouth and Healthy Body

Deep Cleaning Root Procedures

Brushing herTeethSeveral serious conditions of the gums should not be left untreated and among them is periodontal disease. An individual may begin losing teeth if a dentist is not consulted for treating the gums at the right time. For nursing these fatal diseases, several valuable treatments are available these days. The most common form of action is surgery, but depending on the severity, another nonsurgical procedure called scaling and root planing may be suitable. This deep cleaning procedure attempts to prevent decay of teeth as well as reverse the deadly effects of gum disease.

If you suspect periodontal disease, or are interested in root planing and scaling, call our office at (803) 356-0700.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is a teeth cleaning process that is ideal mostly in the early stages of periodontal disease. It is often described as involving instrumentation of the root surfaces as well as the crown of the teeth to remove tartar and plaque from those regions. Root planing and scaling is among one of the most effective ways for treating gum diseases before it becomes too severe.

How Is It Done?

Root planing and scaling is done with the help of hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers. The ultrasonic instruments are air powered or electric and have two components:

  •  A reasonably dull metal tip that vibrates at quite a high frequency, thereby knocking off the calculus and plaque from the tooth.
  •  A water irrigation system which helps to cool the tip and allows flushing of debris from the teeth.

Hand instruments come in different sizes and shapes and are not powered. Different instruments are made to use for different teeth, or maybe even for different surface of a single tooth.

Typically, the ultrasonic instruments are first made to remove calculus and greater deposits of plaque from the roots and crowns of the teeth. Then a few hand instruments called curettes and scalers are used for removing remaining material to ensure that the tooth surface remains smooth and clean.

In a majority of cases, scaling and root planing is not completed in a single visit. This is usually the case if you are have gingivitis, which is known to be the earliest and initial stage of gum disease. If you are suffering from periodontitis, then multiple visits are recommended. The periodontist focuses on one quarter of the mouth at each visit. Some dentists also use antibiotic fibers to place them into pockets between your gums and teeth. This antibiotic will prevent infection and help speed healing. The fibers are usually removed after about one week of the procedure.

Pain or Pain-Free?

For some patients, root planing and scaling can cause real discomfort. A local anesthetic may be used for numbing the portion of your mouth which is being worked upon. Even after two or three days of the treatment, there may be some soreness and your teeth may be sensitive to cold and hot temperatures.

During these times, over-the-counter pain relievers help. Patients may be asked to make use of antiseptic mouth rinse following the procedure, mostly if the gums are still quite sore. However, you can continue flossing and brushing as usual. Some bleeding may occur in the initial days which stops within a weeks time.


Regardless of the benefits scaling and root planing has to offer, some serious risks are associated with this procedure. Root planing can introduce some harmful bacteria into your bloodstream and gum tissue. You may need to take in antibiotics before and after the procedure if you are at the risk of getting severe infection. If you have certain heart problems, this procedure may be too dangerous for you, as you might acquire a heart infection known as endocarditis. This procedure also may be too dangerous if you have an impaired system or if you have had major surgery recently, such as heart valve or artificial hip replacement.


Scaling and root planing are quite simple procedures that works excellently to stop gum diseases. With proper dental care, your teeth and gums can become healthier than ever before. Lastly, to promote healing, it is advised to stop use of tobacco and smoking because it reduces your ability of fighting infection of gums and causes delay in healing.

Go for scaling and root planing if you are keen on preserving your existing teeth and ensuring a healthy smile and healthier body while avoiding costly and painful surgery. If you are interested in scaling and root planing, call our office at (803) 356-0700.

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Address: 2441 Mineral Springs Road, Lexington, SC29072
Phone: 803-356-0700 |

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