You can trust your smile to the experienced and gentle team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne. Dr. Robert Harrell and his staff understand that the portion of your checkup reserved for deep cleaning (known as dental scaling and root planing) may not be your favorite part. However, they are are dedicated to maintaining your comfort during this critical portion of your visit. Here’s why comprehensive oral cleaning is so important:

  • Dental scaling occurs with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or both. The dentist will start the procedure with a thorough examination of your mouth. Next, an ultrasonic scaling device will be used to eliminate the plaque bacteria with sonic vibrations. The ultrasonic scaling device removes tartar (calculus), plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. A manual instrument may be used next to remove the remainder.
  • Root planing involves detailed scaling of the root surface to decrease inflammation of the gum tissue. The dentist scales the root surface to smooth out rough target areas, eliminating plaque and biofilm development. Read more at Colgate


Let Us Know About Your Dental Anxiety

Some patients prefer a topical anesthetic or mild sedation for their root planing and scaling. If you have tooth sensitivity or dental anxiety, we are happy to offer these options to you. Never hesitate to discuss any questions or concerns about your mouth care. Our goal is to provide the best dental experience possible, which requires open communication.

Let’s learn more about the process of cleaning under the gumline:

Like a Splinter From a Finger

Scaling and root planing teeth, provided by either your dentist or dental hygienist, may take more than one appointment to complete, and a local anesthetic is often used to minimize any discomfort. Periodontist Dr. Steven Seibert compares scaling and root planing to having an irritating splinter removed from an infected finger. The procedure involves thoroughly scaling all plaque, bacterial toxins and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces; and then root planing, which smoothes all rough areas on your roots’ surfaces. Smooth root surfaces keep bacteria, plaque and tartar from re-adhering underneath the gumline, allowing your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly. Read more at Colgate


Staying Ahead of Gum Disease

Dr. Harrell has been named a top Charlotte dentist for years, and our practice is a five-star facility based on reviews. The key to our success is taking the time to listen to our patients and then providing the most advanced course of treatment. One area of oral care that can slip through the cracks is gum care. Every time you have a dental appointment, the hygienist will check to see if there are any indications of gum disease. With the early stages of gum disease often going undetected by patients, it’s important to have experienced eyes available. This is one of the main reasons why maintaining regular dental exams is vital.

Read more about combating gum disease below:

Why Do I Need It?

  • Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. Untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.
  • If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional cleaning should do. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planing may be needed.
  • A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.
  • This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
    Read more at Mouth Healthy

If it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today to schedule a visit with Dr. Harrell. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on our website to make your comprehensive teeth cleaning appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.