Ultrasonic Scaling & Root Planing
To fight periodontal disease, we need to reduce plaque, tartar, and the number of bacteria in the pockets in your mouth. One device we use to remove calculus from teeth is an ultrasonic scaler. It consists of a wand with a small scaling tip that produces a soft ultrasonic vibration. The small, quick vibrations in combination with a water flow give us a whole new level of effectiveness in calculus removal. Ultrasonic scaling removes calculus and reduces the number of harmful bacteria below the gum line. It is an important tool in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.
Routine cleanings remove plaque and tartar that exist on your teeth above the gum line, but sometimes, especially if you don't floss regularly, plaque, tartar and bacteria can develop below the gum line. The goal of scaling and root planing is to remove this source of periodontal infection from below the gum line on the surfaces of the roots.
To maximize your comfort, appointments for this procedure are usually scheduled as multiple appointments. The time between each appointment, will also allow the periodontist to check on the progress of your healing and will allow the periodontist to monitor your committment to at home care.
To keep you comfortable, we may give you local anesthetic before the procedure begins. Then we'll use either a small scaling instrument or an ultrasonic scaler to carefully and meticulously remove plaque and tartar from the top of your tooth all the way down to the bottom of the pocket.
The roots are planed and smoothed so your gums can heal and can reattach to your teeth. An antiobiotic is sometimes injected into the pockets after scaling and planing to prevent or control infection and promote healing. A prescription for oral antiobiotics may be prescribed by your dentist.
Good home or aftercare is important to the healing process and can help in preventing the need for future scaling and root planing treatment. Sometimes special tools will be provided to the patient to effectively clean the effected areas and preven further problems. If periodontal disease is not closely monitored and controlled, tooth loss can occur.
Periodontal disease is site-specific. This means that you may experience a flare-up of the infection in just one periodontal pocket out of the possible total of 192 that exist in your mouth. Bone and tissue loss may occur in only this isolated area, or it may be more widespread. You should visit your peridontist regularly to check your gums and bone for damage that you might not notice is occurring. Without regular checkups the destruction can continue without being aware of it.