Even with a good home oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can still build up around the enamel. This can lead to decay, cavities, and bacterial infections and other problematic areas. To help the teeth stay healthy and clean, you should have a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year at Six Sigma Dental.
After your oral evaluation or check-up, your dentist may recommend a procedure called “scaling and root planning” in one or more quadrants, or quarters of your mouth, to address an issue with gum disease they have observed. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is relatively common in adults, and is caused by bacteria that has collected under the gum line, causing irritation and inflammation. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can cause bone loss and even tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing, also known as a deep cleaning, is very different from a regular cleaning. A regular cleaning focuses on the surfaces of the teeth and between teeth above the gum line. During a regular cleaning, the teeth are also polished. A deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is needed in order to remove bacteria, calculus (tartar), and debris that has collected under the gum line.
During a deep cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will typically numb area to be treated. Next, your dental professional will carefully work under the gum line to clean away the calculus and debris. After this, your dentist will carefully shape, or plane, the root of the tooth, to remove places where bacteria can collect in the future. Scaling and root planing requires post-treatment care, as well as follow up visits to ensure the treatment and home care techniques are successful.