Scaling and Planing
Tartar is plaque that has had time to harden and is that white (sometimes yellow) substance found at the base of the tooth just above the gumline. Tartar is usually not removed with standard brushing and flossing and usually requires coming in to see us for proper and thorough removal.
Tooth scaling is a service that involves using a tool that is specifically designed to break-apart and remove tartar. We gently run the tooth scaling tool along the front and back surfaces of teeth that have any signs of tartar which effectively cleans the gumline and smooths the tooth enamel. Every time you come in for a dental checkup, tooth scaling is performed to help prevent future dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.
Sometimes, tartar can find its way below the gumline and attach itself to tooth roots. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and more serious issues such as periodontitis and gums that detach from the tooth and recede. When this happens, we will need to perform a deep cleaning (also known as root planing) that involves ridding tartar from your tooth roots and smoothing the rough root surfaces to allow gums to re-attach themselves.
What's Involved With A Root Planing Procedure?
Each person's oral health is unique and the stage and current condition of the teeth and gums will dictate how involved a deep cleaning is as well as how long it takes to heal. Usually a deep cleaning is done one-half of the mouth at a time and healing takes about a day or two.
During a deep cleaning we will numb the areas of your gums where we are working, which will keep you from feeling any discomfort during the procedure. Using a special tool, we will remove any tartar build up that is found on tooth roots below the gumline and we ensure the tooth root gets a smooth finish to allow the gum tissues to start re-attaching itself. Our office uses a special ultrasonic tool that will ensure the quickest and most comfortable deep cleaning as possible and is something some other dental offices do not offer. After your root planing procedure, you may be recommended to take a medication to help control soreness from the procedure, keep away infections and to promote healing.