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Scaling And Root Planing

by admin on May 30, 2009

Scaling And Root Planing
What Is Scaling?
Scaling is a procedure for the removal of plaque and tartar (calculus) that gets attached to the surface of the teeth just beneath the gum. It is one of the most conventional methods used even today. Plaque is sticky matter that glues itself to the teeth, when this becomes hard it forms calculus.
What is Root Planing?
Root planning is a procedure in which the plaque, that still remains, is removed from the outer surface of the root

When Is This Procedure Used?
This procedure is used to do away with the bacteria that stick to the rough surface of plaque and calculus. It can be used by itself when calculus has just set in its initial phase (successful in treating patients with gingivitis) or can be used before surgery to clean up the gums when its in advanced stage (successful in treating patients with gum disease).
Removing tartar or calculus can be painful, the dentist may give you a local anesthetic to desensitize the nerves before removing it out.

Tools Used In Scaling And Planing
There are two types of tool used for this procedure that you must have noticed at the dentist’s clinic; ultrasonic instruments and manual instruments

Ultrasonic instruments are the ones that work on electricity or can be air powered. There are two different kinds of ultrasonic instruments: a) the first is the type that vibrates at high speed, it has a blunt end which removes plaque through its vibration. b) the second is like a water jet that removes the plaque attached to the teeth by washing out the fragments.

Hand instruments (curettes, scalers) are the ones that are hand held, they come in different shapes each used to remove the calculus of certain areas of the mouth. The edges of which are sharp to enable the cleaning of the rough surface on the tooth.

The dentist would first remove the calculus situated on the teeth and the roots with the help of the ultrasonic instrument. Once that is done he would then use the hand instruments to remove whatever is left on the surface of the tooth, making sure that the tooth is not rough. He would then feel the area for its smoothness.

This whole procedure could be done in one sitting if it is in its initial stage but if you have advanced stage of gum disease(periodontitis), then the dentist would treat each quarter at a time.

Post Treatment Care
At first your gums might be painful and would not be receptive to any hot or cold foods. At this time the dentist would even recommend the use of an antiseptic mouth wash as you would not be able to brush effectively due to pain and bleeding. The recommended pain killers would bring some relief. This pain and bleeding may take up to a week to subside.

Successful treatment of gum disease or periodontitis would get rid of all the plaque that was there.
At this juncture the dentist would recommend a fluoride gel to be applied on these pockets to prevent further cavities or plaque.

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