Gum Disease: Root Planing and Scaling


Gum Disease DentistryWhen it has been determined that you have gum disease, one of best and most effective treatments is to utilize root planing and scaling before the disease becomes too severe. Root planing and scaling, put simply, cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. Due to the slightly invasive nature of the treatment, local anaesthetic may be required to ensure your comfort during the process.


What is Root Planing and Scaling?


These procedures are essentially a deep dental cleaning. Scaling involves removing built-up plaque below the gum line using either manual scraping instruments or an ultrasonic tool. When our team does your root planing, they will be gently sanding your teeth, removing rough spots on the tooth surfaces and roots, which tend to harbor bacteria.


There are two different methods that your dentist can use: mechanical, involving dental tools to manually scrape away debris, or ultrasonic, where a tiny vibrating wand breaks up plaque and cleans your teeth. The ultrasonic method is less uncomfortable, because instead of digging and scraping, the wand moves side to side at a high speed to break up and remove plaque and bacteria. Sometimes dentists will combine ultrasonic with mechanical methods, like dental chisels, to remove plaque below the gumline.


Call us at (301) 236-9000 to schedule an appointment!


Why Should I Go Through the Root Planing and Scaling Procedure?


Scaling and root planing can be an effective treatment as a preemptive method of combatting gum disease or as an attempt to repair gum disease.


These are a few reasons that scaling and root planing may be necessary:


  • Disease Prevention– The bacteria that can cause gum disease has the potential to travel from the mouth to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to gum bacteria. Scaling and root planing will remove the harmful bacteria from the gums before it has a chance to spread to the rest of the body.


  • Tooth Protection– As gum pockets get bigger in size, there is a greater risk of gum disease as they can house larger quantities of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, as a response from the immune system to chronic inflammation, the body will destroy gum and bone tissue which can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the developing world.


  • Aesthetic Effects– When there are stains on the surface of the teeth near the gums that are unsightly, the process of scaling and root planing will remove the imperfections.


  • Better Breath– One of the main symptoms of gum disease is bad breath. The food particles and bacteria that get stuck in the space between the gums and the teeth can cause a persistent negative odor in the mouth that will be alleviated by the scaling and root planing procedure.


How Much Does Root Planing and Scaling Cost?


Typically, root planing and scaling is charged by the quadrant of the teeth being cleaned. Currently, the average cost per quadrant is $241 meaning an average of $964 for the whole mouth. As far as insurance coverage, your plan may pay a portion of the fee, if not all of the fee. If you do not have dental coverage, our office will coordinate a payment plan that is right for you.


Call us at (301) 236-9000 to schedule an appointment!