What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Dental Restoration

There are many words patients do not want to hear when visiting the dentist. Terms such as ‘cavity’, ‘carie’, ‘crown’, ‘root canal’, or ‘periodontal disease’ are enough to make anyone cringe in their chair. 

Of all the terms listed in the previous paragraph, it seems that periodontal disease is one that tends to be least misunderstood. While we’ve discussed what the disease is in previous articles, we haven’t yet discussed what procedures may be done to treat periodontal disease. If you’re unfamiliar with periodontal disease, the terms ‘scaling’ and ‘root planing’ may sound just as Greek to you as the cause. 

Diagram of gums affected by periodontal disease

How does scaling and root planing treat periodontal disease? 

When periodontal disease is caught in early stages, there is often no permanent damage done to the supporting structures under your teeth. In this case, a simple professional cleaning may be enough to eliminate the issue. 

However, there are other patients that develop more severe periodontal disease. In more extreme circumstances, scaling and root planing are a necessity. 

At South University Dental, scaling is carefully done in a way that plaque and tartar are removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. Depending on the severity of the disease, treatments may need to be done over several visits. 

Once this process is finished, root planing occurs next, a process where the root surfaces of teeth are smoothed so gum tissue can repair itself and re-attach to teeth. Just as is the case with scaling, root planing may require multiple visits to the dentist’s office. 

Scaling and root planing are critical in fighting periodontal disease.

The professionals at South University Dental in Fargo have the expertise in general dentistry and restorative dentistry to lead the charge in your battle against periodontal disease. We are passionate about helping individuals in the Red River Valley maintain a healthy smile.  Email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.