Scaling and Root Planing
South Side Chicago Dentist
Most of us need a good teeth scraping every so often. Despite the best of efforts at home with all of the tooth cleaning products available, a hard build up on the roots of teeth develops that requires a dental professionals attention. A general dentist, dental hygienist or a periodontist are the 3 people qualified to do scaling and root planing.
The term pretty well describes the procedure. Nowadays my technique is to use a strong topical anesthetic (no shots, hooray!!) and sonic instruments ( they use lots of water and sonic wave action to shake off the deposits) I also use the standard hand instruments to make sure the roots are smooth to the touch.
One thing to know is that if you have been told you need a scaling that does imply you have periodontitis. You can’t scrape a root unless there has been loss of bone support. Exposed roots develop deposits that stick to roots under the gum line. I get lots of patients that have had scaling or “scraping” as its often called, yet never quite got the message that a chronic disease is being treated. Its like knowing you have to take a pill but not knowing what its for. The point here is understand that scaling is part of an ongoing therapy for the management of periodontitis. Its best followed up with lighter cleanings done at intervals determined by the therapist.
My patients average interval for maintenance therapy is every 3 months.