Regular cleanings are a great start to ensure good oral health, but in some cases, when a more vigorous cleaning is required, your dentist might suggest planning and scaling. So, what is it?
Planning and scaling is a deep cleaning in which the dentist will work underneath the gum tissue in order to remove hidden and underlying bacteria.
Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar - Bella Vista Dental Care - 888-757-8007
Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar of BellaVista Dental Care says the topic is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to educating patients on the value of it.
“Patients may not understand that planning and scaling is treating a disease, and that disease is periodontal disease,” she explains. “Once you hit a certain point to where scaling and planning is needed, the American Dental Association categorizes you as having a disease. It’s not like a cold that comes and goes, it stays with you forever.”
Periodontal disease, which is considered the loss of bone in the mouth, can be mild, moderate or severe, and is caused when the byproducts of bacteria in the mouth create an acidic and toxic environment in the mouth. The result is plaque turning into calculus, a hardened material on the teeth, which then expands to affect the root surface and, if not treated, bone.
“The concept of scaling and planning is to remove this bacteria by scraping or scaling the sides of the roots in order to ensure there is no further spread,” says Bhatnagar.
As with everything when it comes to oral health, the earlier bacteria, plaque and calculus can be removed, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding periodontal disease.
“The treatment itself does not cause the bone to grow back,” says Bhatnagar. “This is why it’s important to follow up with your regular dental visits to ensure you’re not building bacteria in places that can eventually affect the bone in your mouth.”