One of the most common causes of tooth and gum infection we come across here at Aqua Dental Clinic, is the buildup of plaque and tartar.
This is especially true in young adults.
Regular brushing and flossing helps prevent the buildup of these nasties, but won’t get rid of any existing deposits.
To do that, you’re going to need help from a professional.
A dentist or dental hygienist offers a number of treatments that will help get rid of plaque and tartar deposits – even those which have been allowed to accumulate over a long period.
The most common plan of attack is a deep clean, including scaling and root planing. As well as getting rid of buildups, this treatment is also an effective treatment for periodontal diseases.
In fact, a deep clean is such an effective treatment overall, that some patients choose to have them regularly as a preventative measure – even when they don’t already have issues. Apart from stopping problems before they begin, a deep clean feels absolutely fantastic.
So what’s involved in scaling and root planing?
Your dentist may begin by checking for gum pockets, where there is space between gum and tooth – usually of more than 3 mm – where bacteria could collect where it could begin causing problems like gingivitis periodontitis and even tooth loss.
The scaling procedure removes plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface, which allows the gum to form a much better bond with the tooth. The process works by blasting off the plaque and tartar using a vibrating scaler along with a cooling jet of water. A range of tools is available to do this, including sonic or ultrasonic scalers, lasers, and curettes. Scaling sounds more much more uncomfortable than it is, and your dentist can administer a local anaesthetic or numbing agent to make the process completely painless.
After the scaling comes root planing is carried out to smooth the area below the gum line. This removes any rough cementum, dentine, calculus and microorganisms to allow the gum to heal more easily and discourage more buildup from forming. It also helps the gum form a bond with the tooth.
Some patients do report mild tooth sensitivity for a few days after this procedure, so it’s generally best to avoid very hot or cold foods for a while. However, this is a small price to pay for the feeling of having teeth that are so clean, they literally couldn’t get any cleaner!