Scaling and Root Planing in Spring Branch & Memorial, Houston, TX

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. It’s often referred to as a deep cleaning and is typically recommended when there is evidence of chronic periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.

Why is it needed?

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. As the disease progresses, these pockets deepen, and more gum tissue and bone are affected. When this happens, the teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.

Scaling and root planing is needed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums and reduce the depth of the pockets, allowing the gums to heal and reattach to the teeth.

What is the treatment?

The treatment involves two main steps:

  1. Scaling: This is the process of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. At Lifeworks Dental in Spring Branch & Memorial, Houston, we use a small instrument called a scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner to clean beneath your gum line and remove plaque and tartar.
  2. Root Planing: This involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth to prevent further buildup of plaque and tartar, and to help the gum tissue to reattach to the teeth.

The procedure starts with the administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Depending on the extent of the gum disease, scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a follow-up visit to confirm that the gums are healing properly.

After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and gum sensitivity, but these symptoms should subside within a few days. Good oral hygiene practices at home and regular dental visits will help ensure a successful outcome and prevent the progression of gum disease.