12 May Scaling and Root Planing
When Elbow Grease Counts
Most periodontal patients in our practice become very familiar with the two primary therapies we rely on to treat gum disease: scaling and root planing. Sounds a little disagreeable, yes. But scaling and root planing are the beginning of the end of periodontal problems. The treatment is tried and true, with a simple goal—get the “junk” out of there.
It’s a certainty. Plaque, calculus, and bacteria, left to accumulate, will form pockets around teeth beneath the gumline. As pockets deepen and bacteria go to work, tissue becomes infected. Without care, tissue, ligaments and eventually bone are destroyed and you’re facing tooth loss.
By scaling and root planing, we disrupt the hold toxins have on tissue. With special instruments, we go after the debris at the gumline first, then reach deeper to clear away the rest. Plaque and calculus are tough stuff—a sort of poisonous cement. So it takes some time and elbow grease. Finally, the surface of the root is smoothed to encourage the re-attachment of gum tissue.
No one ever called scaling a day at the beach. But it’s the most direct and effective means to clear away “junk,” and head off disease. And that’s what you’re here for.