In a standard dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will use a tiny mirror and a fine-pointed “scaler” to carefully scrape plaque and tartar off teeth. But in cases where it has been far too long between dental visits, your dental hygienist will need to clean a little deeper as part of a procedure known as scaling and root planning. Here’s what it all entails. 

Going Deep: Removing Buildup from the Teeth, and Just Below the Gum Line

Taking the standard cleaning a few steps further, scaling and root planning, often called a “deep cleaning,” goes deeper to give patients a chance at a do-over of sorts after having their teeth and gums ravaged by tartar buildup and bacteria.

During the “scaling” portion of this treatment, tartar and plaque are scraped from above and below the gum line. After scaling is completed, planing may be required to smooth the rough spots on each tooth root. The idea of exposing and cleaning the tooth is to remove the bacteria and provide a clean surface for the gums to reattach to after cleaning.

Scaling and root planing is generally completed if your dentist determines that the plaque buildup on your teeth has progressed into dental calculus, or “tartar.” Unlike plaque, which can be removed with regular brushing at home, tartar can only be safely and reliably removed at a dentist’s office.

A Little Deeper: Flap and Pocket Reduction Surgery

Flap and pocket reduction surgery is performed by a periodontist, a dentist specializing in gum disease treatment. This combination of procedures entails raising the gums for the removal of tartar that has begun forming as pockets beneath the gum line. This is a crucial step for the treatment of advanced gum disease, but there are other treatments, such as gum recession therapy, to treat related issues stemming from the buildup of tartar beneath the gum line. 

Go In: Consult with a Local Periodontist Today

Gum disease therapy is dependent upon various factors such as the phase of the problem, how well you responded to previous treatment and your current state of wellness – all things your Frisco, TX periodontist will weigh when determining the best route you should take to push back gum disease.

So go in. Visiting a reliable periodontist’s office, consulting with the doctor and staff, and asking questions of the clinicians is the best way to set out on a treatment plan that’ll give your mouth a lasting solution for gum disease.  Schedule an appointment today for a consultation with a Frisco, TX periodontist.