Periodontal Therapy

Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing is a nonsurgical procedure, done under a local anesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Scaling and Scaling & Root Planing is done if Dr. Witkin, Dr. Centurion, and Dr. Besu determine that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.

Plaque is a soft, sticky mixture of bacteria, waste products from bacteria, and some food debris. It irritates the gums, or gingiva, and causes inflammation over time: gingivitis. The longer plaque is left on the teeth, the harder it gets. After 24 hours, some plaque hardens into calculus, otherwise known as tartar. Calculus is mineralized plaque and does not come off with the brush and floss anymore. The bacteria in plaque and calculus cause an ongoing state of inflammation called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious disease called periodontitis. The most common treatment for periodontitis is scaling and root planing.

 

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