Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing

The accumulated plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth are responsible for most of the oral infections. Plaque is the thin layer of microbes that get accumulated on the teeth, which leaves a yellowish or brownish appearance on them. When plaque isn't removed at regular intervals, it forms a dark, hard, and sticky substance called tartar. Tartar is composed of thousands of bacteria that release harmful acids while feeding on the food debris left in the mouth. The acids lead to cavities and gum diseases and create a negative impact on the individual's oral health.

What is the solution?

Plaque and tartar have to be removed at regular intervals to avoid them from having serious negative effects on the teeth and gums. Hence, we recommend regular oral cleaning sessions where we would perform scaling and root planing procedures. They are widely preferred by dentists to get rid of the tartar deposits from the teeth and root surfaces, respectively. Patients who seek treatment from gum diseases and other oral infections can benefit from them.

How are scaling and root planing performed?

The dentist would conduct an initial visual screening test where the tartar deposits would be spotted. For this, certain dental appliances may be used to get a better view. Scaling is performed using a hand-held scaling appliance. It has a tip that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies, which is used to dislodge the adhered tartar deposits. It will be used along with a jet of water that helps to wash off the removed tartar. Every face of every single tooth will be taken into account while performing scaling as the goal is to rid of the mouth of all the tartar deposits.

Root planing is a similar procedure, but it is performed on the root surfaces rather than the tooth crowns. The scaling tip will be inserted between the root faces and gums. Since this could be painful, we suggest the use of local anesthesia to numb the gums. The tartar that's accumulated on the root surfaces will be gotten rid of using the scaling appliance. Also, if the root surfaces are rough, they will be smoothed out to prevent the microbes from getting deposited on them. Another important use of root planing is to clear the gum pockets of the microbes and reduce the chances of contracting oral infections.

Call us at (408) 893-2348 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Satbir K. Kahlon and we’ll be able to guide you further.


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2060 Aborn Road, Suite 210, San Jose, CA 95121

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