The Importance of Deep Cleanings: Root Planing and Scaling

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Your best chance of defeating chronic gum disease

After putting off a visit to the dentist for as long as possible, you finally made an appointment and went in for a routine cleaning. You always practice good oral hygiene at home, so when the dentist comes back with a diagnosis of periodontal disease, it comes as a bit of a shock. Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated when caught early enough with thorough deep cleanings – root planing and scaling - provided by qualified dental health experts.

So what exactly is a deep cleaning?

A deep cleaning is a non-surgical procedure that usually includes:

  • Scaling - removing dental plaque and hardened tartar from below the gum line using an ultrasonic scaling tool
  • Root Planing – smoothening the root surfaces and removing cementum (the bonelike connective tissue covering the root of a tooth) and surface dentin that is infected with bacteria, toxins, and tartar

Why is it necessary?

When plaque and tartar are left on teeth, bacteria starts taking over. You may start to notice that your gums bleed more easily when brushing or eating, which indicates the earliest stage of gum disease, or gingivitis.

If left untreated, the inflammation in the gums will work its way down to the roots of the teeth, causing the formation of “periodontal pockets” and giving bacteria another springboard for causing damage. Gum disease can break down the supporting bone structures and loosen the teeth, and once that happens, the damage to the bone is irreversible. Only thorough deep cleaning services provided by a dental professional can help halt gum disease in its tracks and set you on the road to recovery.

Will it hurt?

The level of discomfort from a deep cleaning depends on the severity of gum disease. If the periodontal pockets are not too deep, there may be little to no discomfort. For more severe cases, a dental health professional can numb the area with topical or injectable anesthetics to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

What are the benefits of treatment?

The main benefit from treatment is once is complete, you are able to go back to regular dental cleanings. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings, every 3-4 months in order to stay on top of your dental health.

Disease prevention

Since bacteria can travel through the blood stream, oral infections have a tendency to affect other areas of the body such as the heart and lungs. A good deep cleaning is a great way to eliminate harmful bacteria and reduce the risks for heart and respiratory disease.

Protection against tooth loss

Keeping your teeth firmly rooted in your gums is definitely important. The risk for gum disease increases when periodontal pockets are more than 3mm deep, but a deep cleaning will clean out the bacteria and allow the gums to grow back against the teeth.

A healthier smile

By removing harmful bacteria, scaling and root planing decreases the level of gum inflammation and increases the aesthetic appearance of your smile. It will also reduce bad breath, remove superficial stains, aid in avoiding cavities, and leave you with beautiful, clean teeth.

Maintaining the health of your smile has always been the top priority of the Valley Dental Group in Renton. To find out more information on deep cleanings or to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly team today!