Scaling and Root Planing

Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.

The procedure begins with administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a "scaler," or an ultrasonic cleaner, is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.

The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. If effective, scaling and root planing helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure.  Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.

You may need a local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth. Dr. Cataldo or your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic tool for the planing and scaling. Dr. Cataldo may place antibiotic fibers into the pockets between your teeth and gums. This will help speed healing and prevent infection. Dr. Cataldo will remove the fibers about one week after the procedure. If anesthesia is used, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours. Planing and scaling causes little or no discomfort. This procedure is done when gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits (tartar) on them

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