For patients with an extreme build-up of plaque, root planing and scaling may be required. Plaque is a gummy substance made up food debris and bacteria. This is the stuff that sticks to your teeth, eventually becoming tartar and causing both gingivitis and tooth decay. This is also the stuff that we’re removing when we do your quarterly tooth cleaning.
If gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, scaling and root planing might be required. During this procedure, we’ll be removing all the soft and hardened plaque from all surfaces of your teeth—even the roots. This will help you avoid inflammation and possible infection. We use ultrasonic scalers to make the process quicker and less irritating. Ultrasonic scalers also use water during the process to help rinse away the debris created in the process.
Depending on the severity of your gingivitis and tartar build-up, we may need to repeat the procedure every three months or so until your condition improves. Without treatment, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss and damage to the surrounding tissues. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your quarterly checkups and tooth cleanings; prevention is always better than treatment!