Root to Crown Care: Scaling and Root Planing Explained

If you develop gum disease, you may require deep cleaning by the dentist in Winnipeg. These may involve scaling and root planing to remove calculus and treat inflamed gums. These procedures help chip off hard calculus that is otherwise not possible through regular brushing and flossing. Scaling and root planing help protect your smile and prevent early tooth loss or gum and jawbone deterioration. Read on to learn more about scaling and root planing through this informative blog. 

What are scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleanings in dentistry, are procedures to get rid of calculus that can stick to your teeth. You may require these special treatments if you suffer from gum or periodontal disease. 

Scaling removes calculus from the surface of your teeth, while root planing removes calculus from the roots of your teeth below the gum line. 

Who needs scaling and root planing?

You may require scaling and root planing if you suffer from any form of gum disease that may compromise your oral health. 

Risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of gum disease 
  • Health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis
  • Hormone fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Defective dental fillings
  • Improperly fitted dental bridges 
  • Overbite or crooked teeth 
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking 
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Stress 

What happens before scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will first evaluate your oral cavity to determine the amount of calculus present. Oral examination is done using a probe that can help assess the gum deterioration in the form of gingival pockets. Dental radiographs will be taken to assess the bone loss. 

What happens during scaling?

Your dentist or oral hygienist will use a vibrating tool called an ultrasonic scaler to perform the scaling process. It involves the following steps:

  • A vibrating metal tip on the scaler will chip off the calculus from your teeth’s surfaces. 
  • A water spray from the scaler washes away the calculus, and flushes plaque from the gingival pockets. 
  • The remaining small pieces of calculus will be removed using a manual scaler and a curette (a scraping device). 

What happens during root planning?

Root planning is similar to scaling but it takes place on the roots of the teeth below the gum line. 

In this treatment, your dentist will:

  • Use a tool to gently push aside your gum tissues and expose your root surfaces. 
  • Use the same scaling tools to chip the calculus and make them smooth
  • Inject an antibiotic solution into the gingival pockets

No one would like to lose their teeth to gum disease. Thankfully scaling and root planing can save your teeth and smile. Maintain the results through regular brushing and flossing for improved oral health.