Scaling & Root Planning

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues (gums, ligaments, and bone) that surround and support your teeth. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common infections today and it is a leading cause of tooth loss in Canadian adults. Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are essential in prevention and early detection of gum disease, which sometimes develops without any warning signs.

Gingivitis (gums disease) and Periodontitis (gums and bone disease) are the two main forms of periodontal disease.

Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to tooth structure and is teeming with bacteria. Over time, plaque becomes calcified (hardens), and at this stage it becomes what is called calculus. Plaque and calculus are actually irritants to the tissues of your mouth. The reaction of your body to the irritants can lead to the gum inflammation, gum recession, bleeding and eventual bone loss around the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is called Gingivitis (which is reversible) and is characterized by bleeding gums, especially when one brushes and flosses. If the disease is not addressed, it will most likely progress to Periodontitis, which is far more destructive, and is characterized by further gum deterioration, bone loss, and ultimately tooth loss.

Scaling and root planning are the most common forms of treatment for periodontal disease. Scaling removes calculus (also called tartar) and plaque from the tooth surface above and below the gum line. Root planning smoothes the root's surfaces and removes any remaining calculus. When the amount of plaque and calculus to remove is extensive, Dr. Foksa will offer use of local anesthetic to numb the area, and to make the procedure more comfortable for the patient. A combination of ultrasonic and hand instruments is used during the procedure. The sonic instruments remove the large deposits of plaque and calculus. Hand instruments are then used to remove any remaining tartar and ensure all surfaces of the crown and root are clean. Sensitivity and soreness may be present few days following treatment and usually can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. At the end of the treatment, teeth are polished and stains are removed. In order to help prevent cavities and to slow the bacterial growth on teeth, a fluoride treatment maybe recommended and applied in the form of a liquid or gel.

A follow-up visit can be scheduled about 4 weeks following the initial treatment to check the improvement of your gums. Thereafter, Dr. Foksa will recommend regular maintenance visits at 3 to 6 month intervals to monitor the status of tissues that support your teeth. Our goals are to eliminate the active inflammation caused by bacteria and irritants, and to reduce the periodontal pockets around the teeth in order to eliminate or minimize future plaque or calculus buildup.

Also, during your follow up visits, Dr. Foksa will do a dental check up, and if necessary he may prescribe dental x-rays. Based on dental examination and x-rays Dr. Foksa will be able to determine the following things:

  • Cavities around your fillings
  • Cracks or fractures in a tooth structure
  • Root cavities, which cavities that usually form on the root surface when the gums pull away (or recede) from the teeth
  • Wisdom teeth that are trapped (or impacted) in the gums
  • Early signs of gum disease
  • Early signs of oral cancer
  • Signs of other problems that could affect your general health

Dr. Foksa will be delighted to meet with you and evaluate the status of your gums and teeth and recommend treatment that will help eliminate or control periodontal disease.

Call Downtown Dentistry today to book your dental appointment.