Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a serious oral health issue that affects your gums, your jawbone, and your teeth. Severe gum disease can even impact your whole-body health, increasing your risk for serious health conditions. Unfortunately, the earliest stages of gum disease often go unnoticed, allowing the condition to progress. To restore the health of your mouth and stop the progression of gum disease, professional treatment is needed. A common treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we perform scaling with an ultrasonic scaler.
The Progression of Gum Disease
The earliest symptoms of gum disease—red, swollen gums that may bleed when you brush and floss—often go unnoticed. In some cases, the symptoms are thought to be the result of brushing too hard. Swollen gums eventually begin to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, leading to the creation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets, where they begin attacking periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. Over time, the bone and ligaments become weak, and your teeth become loose. You may even suffer tooth loss.
Treatment With Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for gum disease. It is a deep cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth. The treatment is performed to remove all buildup from the visible surfaces of your teeth as well as the root surfaces. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces, in addition to the areas around and just under the gums. Root planing the cleaning of your tooth roots. By eliminating all buildup, we can help alleviate the irritation and inflammation of your gums, allowing the tissue to begin healing.
What Is an Ultrasonic Scaler?
Traditionally, scaling has been performed using a manual scaling tool. This tool required physical scraping of your teeth. This tool, while effective, can cause pain and tissue trauma. Today, we use an ultrasonic scaler. An ultrasonic scaler uses low-frequency sound waves, which vibrate against the surfaces of your teeth. This vibration effectively breaks up and eliminates the most stubborn buildup, including tartar, or calcified plaque, which cannot be removed using a toothbrush.
There are two types of ultrasonic scalers: magnetostrictive and piezoelectric. A magnetostrictive scaler has a head that moves in a circular motion. The head rotates at 25,000 to 30,000 cycles per second. The head of a piezoelectric scaler moves back and forth, operating at 28,000 to 36,000 cycles per second. Along with effectively cleaning your teeth, most electronic scalers are equipped with a sprayer nozzle that allows us to administer an antibacterial rinse below the gums.
Benefits of an Ultrasonic Scaler
An ultrasonic scaler provides several significant benefits, including:
With an ultrasonic scaler, we can effectively clean the visible surfaces of your teeth, eliminating even the most stubborn tartar buildup. By cleaning your teeth, we can alleviate the irritation and inflammation of your gums, allowing them to begin healing. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206)284-4505.