What Dental Hygienists Do When Root Planing and Scaling

What Dental Hygienists Do When Root Planing and Scaling

January 1, 2023
  1. What is the Role of Dental Hygienists in Periodontal Health? How Can Professional Deep Cleaning Improve Periodontal Health? 
  2. The Truth Behind Root Planing and Scaling for Periodontal Disease 

Who Is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a professional in dentistry, skilled and trained to keep mouths clean. The role of this dental expert is evident from the name ‘hygienist’. They take care of your oral hygiene during routine dental visits.

What Is Root Planing and Scaling?

They are dental procedures for deep cleaning. Deep cleaning entails thoroughly cleaning the mouth, usually as part of treatment for periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection affecting the gums. It gradually impacts jaw and teeth health. It is a progressive condition that can cause permanent complications in your oral cavity. One of the ways to treat the disease is through deep cleaning.

Difference Between Scaling and Root Planing

Usually, scaling and root planing in Whitby, ON, are done together. However, they are a bit different from each other. Scaling involves scraping off plaque from teeth surfaces. The dental hygienist will target plaque and tartar from the hard-to-reach parts of your oral cavity, including below the gum line. The process will include chipping and rinsing the hardened tartar from your teeth.

Root planing, on the other hand, entails smoothing tooth roots below the gum line. The dentist must push the gums from your teeth to access the tooth roots properly. Ideally, when plaque and tartar have invaded your teeth, they push back the gums, exposing the tooth roots. As long as your teeth have plaque and tartar, the gums will not attach properly. Therefore, the dental hygienist must smooth your tooth roots after periodontal scaling, ensuring that the surface is healthy for gums to reattach. Sometimes, the dental expert may resolve to use an antibiotic on your tooth roots below the gum line before completing the root planing procedure.

Do You Always Need Root Planing and Scaling When You Have Gum Disease?

Not all patients with gum disease require deep cleaning. However, all people need routine dental cleanings to keep their mouths clean. These cleanings remove plaque from between teeth and deep fissures of the chewing surfaces. However, deep cleaning is a treatment we recommend for patients with advanced gum disease.

At DSV Dental Brooklin Village, there are different stages of infection for the gums. The initial stage of infection is called gingivitis, which has mild to moderate effects on dental health. However, if the disease is not treated early, it progresses to a severe stage called periodontitis. This level of infection merits drastic treatments to combat the severe complications. Therefore, root planing and scaling are ideal for patients with periodontitis.

How to Know You Need Root Planing and Scaling

Root planing and scaling are ideal treatments for patients with a high risk of gum disease. Studies show that the older you get, the higher your risk of getting gum disease. In fact, about 3 in 4 adults over 60 years in America suffer from periodontal diseases. Some of the risk factors for gum disease are:

  1. Genetics and family history
  2. Poor oral hygiene
  3. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  4. Diabetes
  5. High blood pressure
  6. Arthritis
  7. Hormonal imbalance – usually due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills

If you have a high risk of getting gum disease, determine to visit your dentist frequently for exams. Besides, consider the following signs as pointers to your need for periodontal treatments like root planing and scaling:

  1. Frequently bleeding gums – when you eat hard foods or brush your teeth.
  2. Swollen, reddened, and gums that are tender to touch.
  3. Exposed tooth roots – giving an illusion of big teeth.
  4. Weakened shaky teeth – they may even start shifting positions.
  5. Gingival embrasures – are small black triangles on the base of your teeth near the gum line. They occur when the gums start to recede and thin out, exposing more tooth structure.

How Long Will the Treatment Take?

Technically, root planing and scaling can happen during the same dental visit. However, you will require a few more sessions to attend to all your teeth. It depends on the severity of the infection throughout your oral cavity.

Want to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Whitby, ON? Contact DSV Dental Now!