Periodontal Cleaning

Periodontal Cleaning/Scaling and Root Planing

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important in preventing periodontal diseases.  If these measures are not taken, the likelihood of disease increases.  In some cases, even with these measures, a certain percentage of patients experience some form of periodontal diseases that must be treated.

Periodontal cleaning by Dr. Steven Lee, DDS

Scaling and root planing is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater than 3 mm.  Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gumline.  A local anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort.  Using an instrument called a small scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner, plaque and tartar are carefully removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket.  The tooth's root surfaces are then smoothed or planed.  This procedure allows the gum tissue to heal.  The procedure also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.


 Image Source:

                         Smoothing the tooth root.          Cleaning the tooth below the gum

Depending on the extent of the disease, your dentist may recommend that one or more sections (quadrants) of the mouth be treated with scaling and root planing.  Treatment requires one or more visits.


 --From American Dental Association 2002--

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©Steven B. Lee, DDS