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Scaling & Root Planning (Deep Cleaning)

Scaling and root planning (SRP) is a non-surgical dental procedure commonly performed by dental hygienists or periodontists (gum specialists) to treat periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease. It is a deep cleaning process that focuses on removing dental plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surfaces of the teeth and below the gumline, addressing inflammation and preventing further progression of the disease.

The procedure involves two main components: scaling and root planning.

  1. Scaling:

    • Purpose: Scaling is the initial step aimed at removing the accumulated plaque and calculus on the tooth surfaces. Plaque is a soft, sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth, and if not adequately removed, it can harden into calculus, which cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing.

    • Technique: Dental professionals use specialized tools, such as ultrasonic scalers and hand instruments, to carefully scale away the plaque and calculus. This process is vital in eliminating the source of bacterial infection and preventing its further spread.

  2. Root Planning:

    • Purpose: Root planning is the second phase of the procedure and focuses on smoothing the surfaces of the tooth roots. This helps to eliminate rough areas where bacteria can easily accumulate, promoting a clean and healthy environment for the gums to reattach to the teeth.

    • Technique: The dental professional uses the same instruments to gently plane the root surfaces, removing any remaining calculus and creating a smooth surface. This process encourages the reattachment of the gum tissue to the tooth, reducing the depth of periodontal pockets that may have formed.

scaling and root planning

Importance of Scaling and Root Plannings

  1. Treatment of Periodontal Disease:

    • Scaling and root planing are essential components in the management of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can lead to irreversible damage to the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums and bone. SRP is a proactive approach to halt the progression of the disease and prevent further deterioration.

  2. Prevention of Tooth Loss:

    • Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. By addressing the inflammation and infection through SRP, dental professionals aim to prevent the advanced stages of gum disease that can result in tooth mobility and eventual tooth loss. Preserving natural teeth contributes to overall oral health and functionality.

  3. Improvement in Gum Health:

    • Scaling and root planning promote gum health by removing the factors contributing to inflammation. Healthy gums are essential for maintaining a stable foundation for the teeth and preventing issues such as bleeding gums, bad breath, and receding gums.

  4. Enhanced Effectiveness of Home Care:

    • Following SRP, patients are often provided with oral hygiene instructions and recommendations for ongoing care. A cleaner and smoother tooth surface facilitates more effective brushing and flossing, enabling patients to better maintain their oral health at home.

  5. Prevention of Systemic Health Issues:

    • Periodontal disease has been linked to various systemic health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. By addressing gum disease through scaling and root planning, there is potential for positive impacts on overall systemic health.

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