Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing

Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing by Board Certified Prosthodontist Steven Rhodes, DDS

Las Vegas

Steve Rhodes is board certified on a national level and offers exceptional service and procedures that you just can't find at a general dentist's office! Below is an overview of the periodontal scaling and root planning procedures we offer at our local Las Vegas office.

What is the purpose of scaling and root planing?

The primary purpose of scaling and root planing is to remove etiologic agents (microorganisms and microbial toxins) that have the ability to cause inflammation in gum tissue and surrounding bone in your mouth. These toxins most commonly include plaque and tartar. Scaling and root planning are non-surgical procedures

 Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures that are very effective for anyone suffering from gingivitis and/or moderate to sever periodontal disease.

Reasons for scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing are great as both preventative health measures and stand-alone treatment. Typically, they are recommended as a preventative measure for those who are suffering from periodontitis.  

Below are some additional reasons you may want to consider periodontal scaling and root planing:

  • Prevent Disease: Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that may lead to periodontal disease. These procedures keep infections at bay and from traveling through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, as research shows that periodontal disease has been linked to lung infections and heart disease. These procedures ensure that periodontal infections do not progress into the bloodstream to affect other areas of the body.
  • Protect Teeth: spacing between teeth that exceeds 3mm in depth can create a breeding ground for bacteria to flourish. This bacteria can also set you at risk for periodontal disease. Typically, bacteria between teeth can lead to inflammation and potential tooth loss. Periodontal disease, in fact, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in the developing world.
  • Aesthetic Benefits: The primary purpose of scaling and root planing is to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Additionally, during these procedures, we can also remove superficial stains from the teeth to provide aesthetic benefits.
  • Fresh Breath: Bad breath is ones of the most common signs of periodontal disease. Bacteria and foods that get stuck in the teeth can create a bad odor that can be removed with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.

What do scaling and root planing treatments involve?

Initially, we perform a thorough oral examination, including taking x-rays, conducting visual examinations, and making a diagnosis before recommending and starting these procedures. Local anesthetic is used during the procedure depending on gum condition, amount of tartar on the teeth, depth of pockets between teeth, and stage of periodontal disease.

Scaling: In a scaling procedure, a scaling tool is used to remove plaque and tartar from the crown and root surfaces. The procedure may include an ultrasonic scaling tool, which includes an irrigation process that delivers an antimicrobial agent below the gums to aid in reducing bacteria.

Root Planing: A root planing procedure typically involves removing cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. In this procedure, the root of the tooth is smoothed out to encourage proper healing and to prevent bacteria from re-colonizing in the future.

After both these deep cleanings are performed, the gums may be treated with antibiotics to help with irritation and to allow the gum tissue to heal quicker.

After the initial appointment, a dentist will schedule another appointment during which they will examine the gums to see how well the pockets have healed. If the gum pockets are still measuring in at more than 3mm in depth, more treatments may be recommended.

If you have any additional questions about periodontal scaling and root planing, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Steve Rhodes and our team of professionals at our local Las Vegas office today!


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