Scaling & Root Planing

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Clagett, call our office in Elizabethtown, KY at Elizabethtown Office Phone Number 270-982-7377.

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the scaling and root planing, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about scaling and root planing.

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

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The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly preformed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

What do the procedures entail?

Dr. Clagett will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, Dr. Clagett may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

  • Scaling:
    When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

Animated illustration of scaling Animated illustration of root planing

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Clagett may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for Dr. Clagett to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.

Benefits of Treatment

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.

Periodontics Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of periodontics, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to periodontics are discussed.

Periodontics Presentation

Having trouble? Please make sure you have the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.

Periodontics Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the periodontics, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about periodontics.

Periodontics Overview

Having trouble? Please make sure you have the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.

Clagett Periodontics and Implant Dentistry

5 out of 5 stars based on 7 Scaling and Root Planing reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had a deep cleaning today. Tiffany explained the process before she started. She did both sides and started with the left. When she injected the pain killer, other than some small pricks, it was not uncomfortable. I felt the effects right away and there was no discomfort during the process. Tiffany has a good sense of pace. During the cleaning there were short breaks which gave me a moment when instruments weren't busy in my mouth. Normally, you would expect that a visit to the dentist would be tense. Not today. With the message mechanism in the chair and Tiffany's calm, competent professionalism, I dozed off a few times. Two other; the office is clean and the decor sets a tone that is relaxing yet professional. The music that played today had me singing and moving. Total experience was exceptional!

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Exceptional experience and painless. A+

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As good an experience as a dental visit could possibly be. Staff members go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family.

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Very professional, friendly and courteous.

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Excellent service

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Great!

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Very informative. Friendly and seemed to care of my long term care.

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