What is Root Scaling and Root Planing?


There are plaques you want to get, like MVP of the softball tournament. And there is plaque you don’t want to leave on your teeth, much less a shelf — dental plaque. Dental plaque forms on your teeth all the time. You brush and floss it away and then it starts rebuilding. It’s the sticky film that is always on your teeth, except right after your brush.

Plaque is easy to get rid of. But if you leave it alone through poor home hygiene it calcifies and turns into tartar. You know this off-white colored stuff that accumulates on the inside of your bottom teeth. Tartar needs to be removed by the hygienists at Implant Dentistry of Florida, as you cannot break it off your teeth at home.

But if you neglect your professional cleanings and exams, that tartar advances, eventually moving under your gumline. Now you have a problem, you have the beginnings of gum disease.

Fortunately, Drs. Brown, Doan, and Vaughn can remove tartarunder your gums before it really starts wreaking havoc. They do this with root scaling and root planing.

Who needs root scaling and planing?

When you come in for your twice-yearly cleanings at Implant Dentistry of Florida these involve scaling your teeth. You may not know that term, but that’s what happens when the hygienist takes the dental pick and removes plaque and tartar. These cleanings usually don’t go below the gumline.

But if your home hygiene program has been poor or if you’ve missed a couple cleanings/exams with us, that tartar may have started to sneak its way under your gums. Root scaling and planing will now be necessary.

What’s healthy and not?

Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. But if tartar has developed under your gums, the tissues that support your teeth will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can have a party. You’ll know this has happened because your breath will reek, your gums will bleed easily, and you’ll be able to see pockets where the gums are pulling away from the tartar on your teeth.

What is root scaling and root planing?

To get rid of the tartar buildup we need to go under the gums. Root scaling is first. You’ll be given some local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort. Then we use dental picks or our diode laser to go below the gumline and break off any tartar deposits from your teeth and the root surfaces.

Next up is root planing. For this, we smooth all the rough areas on the surface of your tooth roots. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t like smooth surfaces much, so root planing helps keep the bad stuff off, and it allows your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly to your roots.

Home hygiene is important

How can you avoid these gum issues? A good home hygiene routine, along with keeping your twice-yearly exams/cleanings at Implant Dentistry of Florida is usually enough to keep any plaque from developing under your gums.

Is it time to book your next appointment? Call us at our Melbourne offices, (321) 372-7700, to make your appointment.

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