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How effective is root planing and scaling?

The short answer is very effective.

If you have gum disease and there is a reasonable prognosis that the tooth or teeth can be maintained for a period of time, root planing and scaling is the initial phase of treatment. After this is performed, the teeth and gums are reevaluated to determine if additional care is indicated.

In early and moderate periodontal disease, root planing and scaling followed by 3 month maintenance visits and excellent home care may be all that is necessary to control the disease process.

Root planing and scaling are necessary to remove the calculus (tartar) below the gum and smooth the root surfaces not covered by bone and connective tissue in order to reduce and eliminate as much inflammation as possible in the gum tissue. This, along with excellent oral hygiene, helps to reduce the pocket depths below the gum margins. This makes the gums healthier, pinker and easier to clean. Healthy gum tissue is also more esthetic in color, shape and texture.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.