What is DEEP SCALING?
- Deep scaling or sometimes referred to as deep cleaning is a specific procedure performed by a dentists to treat gum and periodontal disease of patients who fail to have professional cleaning appointments at least once a year.
- It is a procedure that removes the irritants, much like removing a splinter from an infected finger. Patients generally experience little discomfort afterwards and the gums actually feel better. This procedure allows us to remove: contamination, toxins, micro-organisms, plaque “biofilm”, and tartar “calculus” that have permeated around and below the gum. The root surfaces of your teeth are smoothed so the gum tissues can more firmly reattach.
What is ROOT PLANING?
- The scraping of a bacteria-impregnated layer of cementum from the surface of a tooth root to prevent or treat periodontitis (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
- Root planing cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. Your dentist may need to use a local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth.
What are Dental Pockets?
- Dental pockets are areas between the tooth and gum where bacteria may form. Ideally, normal healthy pockets are not more than 3 millimeters deep, according to National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
How to determine a need for DEEP SCALING and ROOT PLANING?
- If the depth of the gum tissue between a tooth and a gum exceeds five millimeters. It may become a possible space for tartar and plaque build-up. (Often termed as “Periodontal Pocket”). The dentist might prescribe deep cleaning/scaling to reduce the risk for periodontal and gum disease.
How is it performed?
- Deep scaling involves removing plaque or tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket area between the tooth and the gums. The dentist may use ultrasonic or electric instruments or at times manual scaling tools. Once the plaque and the tartar have been removed. The dentist may perform Root Planing to polish some areas that might have been overlooked during the deep scaling process. Root planning involves cleaning of the surface of the roots of the teeth by scaling instruments.
How often do we need DEEP SCALING and ROOT PLANING?
- Deep scaling and Root planing requires minimum of two to three appointments. Follow up appointments might be necessary to ensure that the gums are consistently becoming healthy. Once gums and teeth have been saved from possible periodontal disease, the dentist will advise the patient to do follow up visits for regular dental cleaning at least once every 6 months.