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Scaling and Root Planing

Diagram of three scaling procedures, scaling, root planning, and oral irrigation

Gum disease, sometimes called periodontal disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. The bacteria that cause this dental disease have been lined to serious health problems such as heart problems, poor circulation leading to diabetic concerns, strokes premature and even low birth rate babies and even cancer. When we treat gum disease, our concern is for your overall health, not just your teeth. Even with all the advancement in prevention, 70% of all adults still have some form of gum disease present in their mouth. For this reason, we always do a thorough evaluation so we can prescribe the right level of cleaning.

If you have disease present, which means bleeding, tenderness or increased depth of the cuff of tissue around your teeth, then a therapeutic cleaning is what is needed for you. Depending on your individualized problem you may benefit from either Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT) or Scaling or Root Planing.

Supportive Periodontal Therapy is a more thorough cleaning regimen designed to remove excess deposits that are inflaming the gum tissue.

Scaling and Root Planing is an even more thorough cleaning removing deposits and toxic substances that have attached to the roots of the teeth. Typically, there is loss of the supportive bone because of these elements.

Often, these two therapeutic regimens are combined, again depending on the amount and location of disease present.

Pocket irrigation, which is also known as oral irrigation, is a versatile dental treatment used for several different preventative purposes. Pocket irrigation may be performed as part of a professional dental cleaning, or at home with a specially modified oral irrigator.