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Periodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry focused on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases related to the gums and jawbone. Pariana Tung, DDS, MSc, PhD, at Signature Smiles Dentistry in Fairfax County and Falls Church, Virginia, offers periodontic care, including scaling and root planing, to reduce inflammation and save your teeth. Call today or use the online tool to schedule your periodontics visit.

Periodontics QA

Why is periodontics necessary for oral health?

Periodontics focuses on the supporting structures the gums and jawbone that maintain the stability and health of your teeth. Periodontics primarily addresses gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. It also manages conditions that can lead to tooth loss and other oral health complications.

What is the objective of scaling and root planing in periodontics?

Scaling and root planing are nonsurgical procedures used in periodontics to remove deep plaque and the tartar responsible for inflammation of the gum tissue and surrounding bone.

By thoroughly cleaning the area around the infected gums, tooth roots, bones, and ligaments, these treatments effectively address conditions like gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal (gum) disease.

Why would I need scaling and root planing?

Dr. Tung recommends scaling and root planing to stop periodontal disease and prevent oral bacteria from spreading through the bloodstream to other parts of your body.

When the infection infiltrates your gums, the gums recede (pull away from the teeth), and a space or pocket results. Gum pockets more than 3 millimeters deep can cause chronic inflammation and tooth loss.

Scaling and root planing procedures remove severe tartar and plaque buildup, contributing to a healthier mouth and improved breath. The procedure also deters future bacterial growth and inflammation. After the procedure, your gums have a clean foundation to reattach to your teeth. 

What is involved in scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing begin with a thorough mouth exam, including X-rays and visual assessments, so Dr. Tung can determine the appropriate treatment. You might need a local anesthetic during the procedures to ensure your comfort.

During scaling, your technician removes calculus (a calcium phosphate buildup) and plaque from the crown and root surfaces of the teeth. This removal is followed by root planing — smoothing the tooth root surfaces to allow the gums to heal and prevent bacterial colonization.

Following deep cleaning, Dr. Tung applies antibiotics to the gum pockets to aid healing. You’ll schedule a follow-up exam to assess the healing progress.

If you’re concerned about your gum health, call Signature Smiles Dentistry or use this website to book an appointment online.