Home » Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Treat your gums with the tender, loving care they deserve – preventive care and professional services!

“Periodontal” comes from the Greek words “peri” (for “around”) and “odon” (for “tooth”). So, when at Abel, Phan & Associates in Sterling, Virginia, we refer to periodontal health and treatments such as scaling and root planning we are talking about the tissues and structures surrounding each tooth. Notably, your pink or red gums support and protect the teeth.

When they begin to recede or pull away from the teeth, the roots can become exposed. Your teeth are vulnerable to destructive decay. Gum recession can also be indicative of periodontal or gum disease. As gum disease progresses, the pockets or spaces between the teeth and gums only grow larger. These periodontal pockets harbor all sorts of nasties, including harmful bacteria, sticky bacterial plaque, and plaque’s hardened form: tartar. During the process, toxins are also released that further break down both soft tissues (gums) and hard tissues (teeth and bone).

Preventing and proactively treating gum disease

Fortunately, our dentists, Drs Anna Abel and Chuong Phan, have designed a practice built on a foundation of close partnering with patients. These partnerships revolve around a healthy routine of exams and cleanings scheduled bi-annually, usually once every six months. If you are at risk of conditions such as gum disease or oral cancer, we will want to follow up with you more frequently. Partly, these visits are an excellent opportunity to assess the health of the gums. We use special instruments or probes to measure the periodontal pockets gently. These measurements inform whether a standard cleaning remains beneficial or if you have more advanced needs for care. Options to resolve active gum inflammation or disease include scaling and root planing (SRP).

SRP is really nothing to fear. Think of it as a deep cleaning for your gums. Our skilled team uses an ultrasonic scaler to remove disease-causing germs and plaque comfortably and quickly from under the gum line. Scaling is followed by planning, which is just the medical way of saying that the root surfaces are smoothed. That is a crucial step because rough surfaces tend to attract all of the things that you do not want in your mouth: disease-causing microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. We may combine treatment with the easy application of a topical antibiotic medication.

Don’t wait for problems such as tender gums or blood on your toothbrush to develop. These are common symptoms of earlier-stage gum disease. Contact us today to schedule your hygiene appointment and exam. You can reach Abel, Phan & Associates in Sterling/Potomac Falls at (571) 450-9848.