Scaling & Root Planing

Gingivitis is a disease that left untreated will cause significant tooth and gum deterioration.  Just the word gingivitis can strike panic in a patient’s mind. The reality is that the treatment is simple and performed right in your dentist’s office.

Plaque and tartar that sit on the teeth provide an environment which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply.  This bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and bleed. Bleeding gums are signs of the early stage of gingivitis.

If gingivitis is left untreated, periodontal disease may begin, requiring a procedure called “scaling and root planing.” Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface including the root.  Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing infected tooth structure.

As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing may be performed without any anesthesia, in the dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.