Root Planing and Scaling: The Basics of Deep Cleaning

Root Planing and Scaling - New York, NY

Aug 8, 2015 — by Ernest Robertson D.D.S.
Tags: Root Planing And Scaling General Dentistry Tooth Decay Gum Disease

An older couple at home smilingHere at the Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, we pride ourselves in offering excellent general dentistry services in New York City. This includes filling cavities, fighting gum disease, doing routine cleanings, and also offering some more advanced dental therapies that can make a major difference in the long run. Such is the case with root planing and scaling, which is also known as deep cleaning.

Since many patients have misconceptions about root planing and scaling, we'd like to look over the basics of the process right now.

About Root Planing and Scaling

Root planning and scaling are procedures that are performed in order to remove plaque and tartar build up around the teeth. Plaque is the substance that oral bacteria creates in order to stick onto the surface of a tooth, whereas tartar is the hardened form of plaque. When both of these substances remain on the teeth, it can result in serious issues with tooth decay and gum disease.

Root scaling specifically refers to the scraping off of tartar and plaque. Root planing refers to the smoothing down of rough tooth structure that may increase your risk of tooth decay or gum disease.

How Deep Cleanings Differ from Regular Dental Cleanings

While root planing and scaling is called "deep cleaning," it is much different from the traditional sort of cleaning you would receive while at the dentist's office. The routine dental cleaning will involve an electric toothbrush to polish the teeth and a thorough flossing. Deep cleaning treatment, by contrast, focuses on the scraping of tartar and plaque, which is caked onto the tooth structure itself. Both types of cleanings are crucial for lasting dental health.

Ideal Candidates for Root Planing and Scaling

The best candidates for root planing and scaling are people who have issues with plaque and tarter buildup in different parts of their mouths. Generally your dentist will recommend root planing and scaling when he or she notices excessive amounts of plaque and tartar in place during a dental visit.

What to Expect During Root Planing and Scaling

Root planing and scaling is performed using local anesthetic in order to prevent major issues with pain and discomfort. Only one-quarter to one-half of the mouth is treated in a session. This is to ensure that the entire mouth is not numbed for the remainder of the day and to help make sure the procedure is performed in a timely manner.

Patients will simply sit back for an hour to two hours as a dentist and a hygienist carefully using scraping tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

What to Expect Root Planing and Scaling

After root planing and scaling has been performed, it's ideal for patients to avoid foods and beverages that are hot or cold in temperature. Spicy foods should be avoided as well. These can result in tooth sensitivity issues and major discomfort. Thankfully this is only an issue for about a day. Patients should brush and floss at night as they usually would, though it's important that they be extra gentle when they do so to avoid harming the tender gumline.

Contact the Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry

For more information about root planing and scaling and how you can have a beautiful and healthy smile, it's important that you contact our general dental care center today. The entire team at the Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry looks forward to your visit and helping you smile with confidence.

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