Scaling and Root Planing
Unfortunately, one of the most common dental problems is also one of the most detrimental. When left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can have significant consequences for your oral health. At Michael Yokoyama, D.D.S Chronic periodontal diseases or gum diseases are so common that in the U.S. alone, 47.2% of the adult population over 30 years of age has been diagnosed with periodontal diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
The formation of plaque and tartar below the gumline is found to be one the most common causes of gum disease. When infection-causing bacteria spread to the pulp and roots of the teeth, they inflame the gum tissues and cause them to bleed. If periodontal diseases are left untreated, it can lead to weak gums and loose teeth, moving teeth, loss of gum tissues, and premature tooth loss.
Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease are:
Symptoms of Gum Disease
To treat your gum disease and relieve you from pain and discomfort, your dentist will recommend focusing on periodontal care and periodontal maintenance. They will advise you to consider two deep cleaning procedures to remove the bacteria from the pulp and roots of your teeth.
Scaling and root planing are the most common deep cleaning procedures to treat gum disease and keep the harmful bacteria at bay. Deep cleaning is required because, despite extensive periodontal care such as regular brushing and flossing, the bacteria that have reached the roots of your teeth cannot be targeted and eliminated. During the scaling and root planing procedures, your dentist will use special tools and techniques to thoroughly clean your teeth and gum tissues.
It is to be noted that scaling and root planing will require more than one sitting, especially if the bacteria have invaded multiple teeth and your gum disease has become severe.
Before the procedure, your dentist or dental hygienist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area.
Next, your dentist will either use a manual scaler or an ultrasonic device known as a Calvitron to remove the plaque and hardened tartar from below and above the gumline. The thin, sticky and brownish film of bacteria that accumulate on your gum line is known as plaque, but when the plaque formation intensifies with time, it turns into tartar and becomes harder and darker in color.
To remove this bacteria-filled plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum tissue, your dentist will use the bevel of the scaler, which is a sharp metal hook, to scrape the surface of your teeth and gums.
Your dentist will then proceed to target the plaque and tartar inside the teeth and remove it from the grooves and pits. This periodontal care procedure is necessary to remove the bacteria from the pulp and roots of your teeth and cure the gum disease.
Your teeth have four main components or layers. The outermost layer is known as enamel. It is the hard protective coating made of calcium and phosphate ions that protect the nerve endings and pulp tissue inside your teeth from everyday wear and tear and bacterial invasion.
After the enamel is the layer known as dentin. Dentin is softer and yellower in color as compared to the hard white enamel. The third layer is known as cementum.
Cementum acts as a protective coating for the roots of your teeth. It is a comparatively hard layer of calcified substances that covers your pulp cavity and roots or nerve endings beneath it.
The innermost layer of your teeth is known as the pulp cavity. This is where the roots of your teeth are. Your teeth obtain all of their nutrition from these roots or nerves.
But when the bacteria manage to invade and damage all three protective layers - enamel, dentin and cementum - and have accumulated inside the pulp cavity, your dentist will have to perform root planing to remove the bacteria and save your teeth from permanent damage and loss.
During the root planing procedure, your dentist will completely remove the cementum and sections of dentin from deep below the gumline so that he or she can access the pulp cavity and remove the plaque and tartar from the pulp.
After root planing your mouth will be flushed and rinsed thoroughly to remove the remaining bacteria, and pressure will be applied to your gums to boost tissue growth. With time both dentin and cementum that are alive, heal and grow back to secure and shelter your tooth pulp.
However, to avoid the invasion of bacteria and prevent gum disease, your dentist will provide you with periodontal maintenance guidelines, which you must follow.
If you are suffering from gum disease, then visit us at Michael Yokoyama, D.D.S. Our experienced staff of periodontists and dental hygienists includes Dr. Yokoyama and . They will perform painless and comfortable scaling and root planing to treat your gum disease. Call us today at 760-632-9055 to book your appointment.
Michael Yokoyama, D.D.S
477 North El Camino Real #C-306
Encinitas, CA 92024
Monday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm