SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

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 performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

WHAT DO THE PROCEDURES ENTAIL?

Dr. Ferrin 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. Ferrin 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.

Antibiotics or irrigation with antimicrobials (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. Ferrin 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. Ferrin 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 PERIODONTAL 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 bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing removes 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.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us at our dental office at 541-779-4501.

ABOUT DR. JOHN FERRIN, DMD, MS

WHO WE ARE

Dr. Ferrin brings a wealth of cutting-edge periodontal training with him to Southern Oregon. Born in the mountains of Northern Utah and raised in Mississippi. Dr. Ferrin joined the U.S Army National Guard at the age of 17 and served for 14 years. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology with an emphasis in Physiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and went on to earn his DMD at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. While attending dental school, he started a nationally recognized dental clinic to provide free dental care to Veterans in need. The clinic was named Sgt. Clint Ferrin Dental Clinic after his brother, who neglected his oral health due to several deployments. Sgt. Ferrin was later killed in action in Iraq in 2004. For his work in the clinic, Dr. Ferrin was awarded the ADA Foundation Award for student leadership.

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Ferrin Periodontics

John D. Ferrin, DMD, MS

2930 E Barnett Rd, Medford,
OR 97504, USA

PHONE: 541-779-4501

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