Root Planing & Scaling Therapy

In periodontal disease, bacteria causes damage to the gums and teeth, making the "pockets” around the teeth deeper. Once the pockets get to a certain depth, even with diligent home care by the patient, it is difficult for a toothbrush and floss to reach the tartar and plaque found on the surface of the teeth; the disease progresses without treatment.
What is necessary to stop the progression of disease and promote healing is the mechanical removal of the tartar from the roots of the teeth by the the periodontist or hygienist. This procedure is called Scaling and Root Planing. To keep the patient comfortable, the dental professional may administer local anesthetic to the areas they are working on. The deposit is removed from the tooth and root surfaces, leaving the periodontium in the best position to heal.

An adjunctive treatment to non-surgical therapy is the use of antibiotics. In periodontal disease, the antibiotic is applied directly to the site of disease, meaning, in the periodontal pocket adjacent to the tooth, in the form of an antibiotic strip or powder. Antibiotics can also be administered in pill form.

Four to six weeks following the Scaling and Root Planing, we will re-do a partial PSR (Periodontal Screening and Recording) to check the depths of the pockets around the teeth. If the treatment was successful, the pockets should have shown improvement by decreasing in depth, and the tissues should appear healthier. If the treatment was unsuccessful, a more aggressive, surgical form of treatment will be strongly recommended. Sometimes, even in cases of advanced periodontal disease, a non-surgical approach will be necessary before surgical therapy.