Board Certified Periodontist, Dr. Scott O. Kissel

How Scaling and Root Planing Help Treat Gum Disease

Scaling and Root Planing images using a perioscope

Table of Contents

The most effective ways to treat and prevent gum disease when plaque progresses between gums and teeth and a professional cleaning cannot reach it, is scaling and root planing. The scaling procedure enables Dr. Kissel to remove plaque and tartar below the gumline. Root planing is performed to smooth tooth roots in order to help the gums to reattach to the tooth and prevent plaque from sticking to the roots.

Who Needs Scaling and Root Planing?

Normally, gum tissue should be tight around each tooth with a depth of 1 to 3 millimeters from the top of the gumline to the point where it attaches to the tooth. However, if your teeth have been affected by periodontal disease then the gum tissue is no longer tightly attached to your teeth. This occurs because of deep pockets which formed due to plaque and tartar that has penetrated below the gums and attached to the roots of your teeth. Consequently, if you have unhealthy gums the depth from the gumline to the point of attachment to the tooth is more than 4 millimeters. 

The more obvious signs of gum disease are such things as bad breath and heavy tartar build-up on your teeth. If this is the case, then a routine professional cleaning is not going to help treat gum disease, you will need scaling and root planing or what is sometimes referred to as “a deep cleaning.” 

What Does Scaling and Root Planing Prevent/Treat 

The scaling and root planing procedure will remove plaque and bacteria which produce toxins and stimulate a chronic inflammatory response. This response is quite destructive since the body turns on itself and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. When the gums separate from the teeth, they form pockets that become infected. If scaling and planing are not used to treat this condition, the disease will progress, the pockets will deepen and more gum tissue and bone will be destroyed. Therefore, immediate treatment is necessary to stop further damage.

What is Done During This Non-Surgical Procedure

Dr. Kissel ensures that you are as comfortable as possible by offering anesthesia to numb your gums and teeth. The procedure begins with a thorough scaling of all plaque, bacterial toxins and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces using a Perioscope to assist in removing as much deposit as possible. Following the scaling, the root planing takes place in order to smoothen the rough areas on the surface of your roots. In some cases, Dr. Kissel may also place an antibiotic substance in the pockets that have formed around your teeth, to kill all bacteria and promote healing.

What Sets Our Scaling and Root Planing Apart

What sets Dr. Kissel’s practice apart from almost all others that perform scaling and root planing procedures is the fact that we incorporate the Perioscope (a powerful microscope) during this procedure. This allows us to see the plaque and tartar on a TV monitor 24 – 48 times in more detail than it is possible with our eyes. Being able to remove even the tiniest traces of plaque and tartar with precision and accuracy allows the body to maximize its healing response. On the other hand, when the healing response is not maximized, the probing depths do not return to a normal measurement and surgery will more likely be the recommendation. With our precise and comprehensive scaling and rooting procedure, we help you avoid the possibility of gum surgery. 

If you’ve been told you need root planing and scaling, or a deep cleaning, then for the most effective results, you should call us today to make an appointment or book online. Contact our office at (212) 702-9088.

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