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Dentistry Memphis

Root Planing and Scaling: How Deep Cleaning Treatment Works

A woman smiling while at homeAt Southwind Dental Care, we provide exceptional dental treatments to patients in the greater Memphis area. That means general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry treatments that improve dental health and enhance smile aesthetics. Great dental care is built on the basics. This means routine checkups and other common treatments for the teeth and gums. With this in mind, we want to consider root planing and scaling treatment and how it can help you.

What is root planing and scaling?

Also known as deep cleaning, root planing and scaling refers to the careful removal of plaque and tartar deposits at the gumline. This is a great way of treating the hard-to-reach parts of the mouth, preventing tooth decay and gum disease in the process.

While many people think that root planing and root scaling are one in the same, they are actually two different parts, each crucial, in the deep cleaning process:

  • Root Scaling - Root scaling is the scraping off of plaque and tartar at the gumline
  • Root Planing - Root planing is the removal of tooth structure that's decayed at the gumline and the smoothing down of the remaining tooth structure

Why Root Planing and Scaling Is Performed

Even if you brush and floss normally, it's difficult to really clean the teeth down at the gumline without professional assistance. Similarly, it's difficult to remove tartar (i.e., hardened plaque) from your teeth and smooth down the tooth surface on your own without proper tools.

Root planing and scaling is an essential treatment for ensuring that your teeth and your gums are healthy for years to come, and only a dental health professional can do this for you.

How Root Planing and Scaling Differs from Traditional Cleanings

Many people assume that professional dental cleanings are similar to root planing and scaling, but that's not the case. While some scraping is involved in a professional dental cleaning, it is not as in-depth as a root planing and scaling visit.

The Root Planing and Scaling Procedure

Patients are given local anesthetic for root planing and scaling treatment. During the procedure, special scraping and picking tools are used to remove the plaque and tartar deposits around the teeth. Only one-quarter to one-half of a patient's smile will be treated during a root planing and scaling session.

After treatment, patients can expect tender and sensitive gums. Patients are advised to avoid hot and cold foods and beverages to prevent tooth sensitivity. Patients should also gently brush and floss as they normally would.

Why Root Planing and Scaling Is Performed on Just Part of the Mouth

Root planing and scaling is performed on just part of the mouth to prevent major inconveniences for a patient.

The local anesthetic will wear off throughout the day, though if it was used on the patient's entire mouth, it would make eating and speaking extremely difficult. In addition, a root planing and scaling session on just part of the mouth can take an hour or two. Dividing the full process into multiple visits tends to be more convenient for dentists as well as patients.

Schedule a Consultation at Southwind Dental Care

For more information about root planing and scaling and how it can help you have a beautiful and healthy smile, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Timothy Messer and his entire team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve all of your dental care goals.

Tagged In: Root Planing, Root Scaling, General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.