Scaling & Root Planing: Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease affects about half of the U.S. population. However, the common condition can be treated in a number of ways. At our Vero Beach, FL, practice, Dr. Nicholas G. Rendon and his team frequently recommend scaling and root planing for individuals who show early or moderate indicators of gum disease. This nonsurgical treatment, also referred to as a deep cleaning, eliminates infection and bacteria beneath the gum line and helps preserve the health of your teeth and gums.

Illustration of scaling and root planing

Unlike a regular professional cleaning, scaling and root planing reaches beneath the gumline.

The Deep Cleaning Process

Before recommending scaling and root planing treatment, Dr. Rendon will perform a thorough examination. This assessment will include an in-depth look at the condition of your gums to determine an appropriate treatment plan. For instance, individuals with gingivitis or early gum disease may only need one scaling and root planing appointment. On the other hand, those with progressive periodontitis and significant plaque and tartar buildup may be better served with two appointments, one for each half of the mouth.

Scaling: Removing Bacteria and Debris

The day of your procedure, your gums will be numbed with local anesthesia for your comfort. This allows Dr. Rendon to clean deep into the gum line, sweeping away bacteria and debris. To achieve the best results, Dr. Rendon and his staff use specialized, advanced dental instruments to completely remove tartar and plaque off the surfaces of the teeth. This comprises the scaling portion of the treatment.

Planing: Smoothing the Tooth Roots

Planing is a bit different from scaling because the process focuses on smoothing the tooth roots. When the tooth root has a rough surface due to unhealthy bacteria formation, it offers more “hiding places” for bacteria to continuously breed and spread. Smoothing the root ensures existing bacteria are removed and new bacteria are less likely to return.

The Importance of Non-Surgical Intervention

Generally, the gums hug the teeth tightly to offer protection against bacteria. However, when harmful microbes begin to breed between the teeth and gums, the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth. If left untreated, the infection can travel beneath the gum line, contributing to the formation of pockets around the teeth roots. In individuals without gum disease, the pocket should not be deeper than three millimeters. A pocket of four millimeters or more is a strong barometer of early or more significantly advanced gum disease.

A deep cleaning can effectively eliminate infection and bacteria beneath the gum line and help preserve the health of your teeth and gums.

Although regular brushing and flossing help remove some of the tartar and plaque from the surface of the teeth, daily oral hygiene practices cannot reach into deep periodontal pockets. Without immediate intervention in the form of scaling and root planing and other gum disease treatments, the tartar, plaque, and bacteria continue to breed. As a result, these irritants can destroy gums, teeth, and eventually bone, compromising your long-term oral health. Through scaling and root planing, Dr. Rendon increases the likelihood of gum reattachment without the necessity of other interventions, such as gum grafting.

Find Out if Scaling and Root Planing Is the Best Choice

The only way to know if scaling and root planing is the right option for you is a comprehensive oral examination. Interested in learning more about scaling and root planing? Schedule a time to meet with Dr. Rendon to discuss concerns and treatment options. You can contact us online or give us a call at (772) 770-4787.

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Vero Beach Office

310 17th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960

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(772) 770-4787