Scale

Montgomery County Periodontal Associates

Miles A. Mason, DDS, MSD

Periodontist & Dental Implant Surgeon located in The Woodlands, TX & Conroe, TX

Although typically addressed during routine cleanings, plaque has the ability to build up beyond the surface of the teeth, reaching below the gumline. For patients experiencing gum disease or requiring periodontal procedures, Dr. Miles A. Mason provides scaling and root planing as the first step to improve oral health. To discuss treatment for plaque build-up or gum disease, book an appointment by phone or online with Dr. Mason at Montgomery County Periodontal Associates, with two locations in The Woodlands and Conroe, Texas.

Scale Q & A

What is dental scaling and root planing?

Dental scaling and root planing is a common procedure that helps patients address excessive plaque build-up beyond the gumline. Often referred to as a deep cleaning, dental scaling and root planing goes deeper than standard dental cleanings.

Plaque build-up is a normal part of our oral biology. Plaque is formed as saliva and bacteria form a film on the surface of the teeth. It’s when this build-up becomes excessive, however, that issues like gum disease and infection can arise.

The bacteria present in plaque eats away at healthy teeth and causes gingival inflammation, leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Typically, proper oral hygiene (brushing twice a day and flossing) and regular dental cleanings are enough to keep plaque build-up at bay.

How do I know if I am a candidate for dental scaling and root planing?

Healthy gums form tightly around your teeth and keep plaque from reaching below the gumline. When conditions for tooth decay and gum disease arise due to excessive plaque build-up and improper oral hygiene, the gums begin to loosen, allowing plaque to creep towards the roots of your teeth.

As your gums loosen, they form pockets that deepen as plaque build-up increases. Patients with this type of plaque build-up or gum disease often require dental scaling and root planing to remove plaque and allow the gums to heal and function properly.

Some symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen/tender gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • A change in your bite
  • Mouth sores

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to discuss your condition with an experienced periodontist like Dr. Mason. If left untreated, bacteria continue to destroy teeth and gums, eventually making its way to the jawbone.

Is dental scaling painful?

Dental scaling and root planing is a procedure performed under local anesthesia. Each tooth with deep pockets is treated under local anesthesia because this procedure requires deeper cleaning under the gumline. This prevents discomfort during the procedure.

During your procedure, Dr. Mason scrapes the plaque from the pockets formed between your gums and teeth, as well as any build-up. Depending on your particular condition, dental scaling can require multiple sessions for optimal results. To relieve discomfort, Dr. Mason will administer local anesthesia to numb the gum tissue.   

Root Planing

For patients who undergo dental scaling, the procedure is routinely followed by root planing. Root planing is used to clear plaque near the root of your teeth, allowing the gums to heal and develop a proper gumline that fits securely around your teeth.   

Call Montgomery County Periodontal Associates or make an appointment online today.