Root planing and scaling
This extensive cleaning treatment is provided by the hygienist for patients who have tartar, calculus, and bacteria buried below the gum line of the tooth. Your regular tooth brushing and flossing removes the tartar that is above the gum line of your tooth. Root planing and scaling helps to prevent and, in some cases, to treat gum disease. This technique is most often used when the gum pockets of your tooth have a measurement that is greater than 3mm (average pocket depth is less than 3mm). When tartar and calculus attach to your tooth below the gum line, they pull the gum tissue away from the tooth, creating the deep pocket. The tartar and calculus must be removed so that the gum can heal, closing the pocket to less than 3mm. If not treated, the tartar and bacteria will begin to cause gum disease, which will deteriorate your bone, tissue and teeth.
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