Gum disease is a serious issue. The earliest stage of gum disease is easily reversed; however, it is also the easiest to miss. Most don’t notice gum disease until it has progressed to the point of needing professional intervention. Scaling and root planing is an important treatment for removing the plaque and bacteria that are causing your gum disease, and allowing your gums to heal. At Oasis Dental, we perform scaling and root planing with the assistance of an ultrasonic scaler.
How Gum Disease Progresses
Gum disease starts as the result of a buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. They both cause irritation to your gum tissue. This causes an inflammatory response. Your gums swell and turn red. You may notice that they bleed when you brush and floss. This stage is known as gingivitis. As gum disease progresses, your swollen gums pull away from your teeth, allowing bacteria to fall below the gum line. Bacteria continue to multiply under the gums, attacking the periodontal ligaments that hold your teeth in place and your jawbone, weakening them both. Eventually, your teeth loosen and may even fall out.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a treatment used to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque that cannot be brushed away) and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, including the roots. By removing the irritants, your gums can begin to heal. Scaling involves the removal of buildup from the surfaces of your teeth (including between them and below the gum line). Root planing is the process of smoothing your tooth roots to prevent new buildup from accumulating. An antimicrobial agent is also used to help kill off any bacteria that may be lingering below the gums.
The Ultrasonic Scaler
Traditionally, scaling has been performed with a manual metal tool. While effective at what it does, this manual scaler could also cause a significant amount of pain, irritating your already sensitive gum tissue. Today, we rely on the ultrasonic scaler.
An ultrasonic scaler is an electronic tool that uses low-frequency sound waves. The soundwaves vibrate against your teeth to effectively remove stubborn buildup from your teeth. There are two types of the ultrasonic scaler. The magnetostrictive ultrasonic scaler runs between 25,000 to 30,000 cycles per second in a circular movement. The piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler moves between 28,000 to 36,000 cycles per second, and the tip vibrates back and forth. Both models of ultrasonic scaler are equipped with a sprayer tip that can be used to clean underneath your gums with an antimicrobial wash while your teeth are being cleaned.
Benefits of the Ultrasonic Scaler
There are numerous benefits to the ultrasonic scaler:
If gum disease is ravaging your teeth and gums, it is essential to seek treatment right away. Contact Oasis Dental today at (360) 836-1100 to learn more about our ultrasonic scaler and schedule your appointment today.
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