Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is a common oral health issue that affects your gums, your jawbone, your teeth, and even your whole-body health. The earliest stages of periodontal disease are often difficult to detect and therefore go unnoticed. When periodontal disease develops, dental treatment is required. Scaling and root planing is one of the most common treatments used. At Mid Valley Dental we perform scaling with an ultrasonic scaler.
How Periodontal Disease Progresses
Periodontal disease begins as a result of a bacterial infection. Bacteria in your mouth irritate sensitive gum tissues, causing them to become red. Irritation triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system, which causes the gums to swell. These early symptoms of periodontal disease often go unnoticed or ignored. Swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall below the gumline, where they continue to attack your gums. Without treatment, pockets continue to grow deeper, eventually giving bacteria access to your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. These supporting structures grow weaker, which can compromise the stability of your teeth and may eventually lead to tooth loss.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for periodontal disease. This treatment is a deep cleaning of your teeth, during which we clean all surfaces of your teeth, both above as well as below the gumline. Scaling involves the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. We carefully eliminate all buildup from your teeth, with special attention paid along and just below the gumline. We work carefully to ensure that even the most stubborn tartar is completely removed.
Root planing is the cleaning of your root surfaces. We smooth the surfaces of your roots, eliminating plaque, bacteria, and other toxins to prevent new buildup from accumulating. This treatment is designed to eliminate the infection, which helps to alleviate irritation and inflammation so that your gums can heal.
What is an Ultrasonic Scaler?
Traditionally, scaling has been done using a manual tool. While effective, a manual scaler can harm your already sensitive gums, leading to tissue trauma and significant pain. Today, we perform scaling with a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler. An ultrasonic scaler is a tool that uses low-frequency sound waves that vibrate against your teeth to effectively break up and remove the most stubborn buildup.
There are two types of ultrasonic scalers. The magnetostrictive scaler consists of a head that rotates in a circular motion at 25,000 to 30,000 cycles per second. A piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler has a head that vibrates back and forth at a speed of 28,000 to 36,000 cycles per second. Most ultrasonic scalers are also equipped with a nozzle that enables us to spray water or an antibacterial wash to help remove buildup and kill lingering bacteria that may still be present below the gums.
Ultrasonic Scaler Benefits
Ultrasonic scalers provide many benefits. These include
An ultrasonic scaler enables us to effectively remove even the most stubborn buildup from the surfaces of your teeth. If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, call Mid Valley Dental at (920) 215-4160 to schedule your appointment today.