Root scaling and root planing or dental curettage

Also colloquially known as a “deep cleaning” helps to control and stop the progression of active gum disease (Periodontitis).

In scaling and root planing what is done is to scrape the root surfaces of the teeth themselves through elements and tools that are called curettes.

Unlike dental cleaning, which is preventive, curetage is carried out when the bacterial plaque has reached the root of the tooth. Therefore, a deeper cleaning is performed below the gum line, that is, in the subgingival area.

The purpose of this scaling and root planing is to remove the subgingival calculus, that is to say, the plaque that has accumulated under the gums. In this way, the gums will be healed to the maximum and heal little by little.

If left untreated, periodontitis will cause irreversible damage to the supporting gums and bone structures of the teeth and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Treatment of this disease

Involves eliminating the source of gum inflammation, bacterial plaque and tartar.

Scaling and smoothing of the root surfaces of the teeth that harbor tartar is performed with the use of local anesthesia (gum numbing).

Sometimes several visits (usually 2) are necessary to complete this treatment. Once completed, patients return for a regular periodontal maintenance dental cleaning. This is necessary to control the gums as they return to stabilization and prevent further harmful gum disease.

  1. The dentist scrapes away the subgingival calculus, i.e., that which lies beneath the gum. To do this, the dentist uses tools called curettes (hence the name of the technique).
  2. Once the scaling is complete and all debris is removed, the surface of the roots of the teeth is polished to leave the tooth surface clean and free of irregularities or recesses that are likely to harbor plaque and tartar in the future.
  3. Normally, a new session is scheduled with the patient to clean the other two quadrants of the mouth.