What is Ultrasonic Scaling and Root Planing?

Gingivitis develops when oral bacteria (the building blocks of plaque and tartar) have worked their way underneath your gums. In such cases, the bacteria cannot be reached during a regular dental cleaning. As a result, an ultrasonic scaling and root planing (also known as a periodontal, or deep cleaning) may be necessary.

For optimal comfort and results, Dr. Petto Messina uses advanced ultrasonic technology to scale plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. Next, she’ll smooth the root surfaces to make it more difficult for oral bacteria to cling to them again.  For many patients, scaling and root planing offers the best chance to prevent gum disease and avoid more extensive periodontal treatment.

How do I know if I need a deep cleaning?

During your routine dental checkup, Dr. Petto Messina will carefully inspect your gums for signs of gingivitis, such as red, swollen, bleeding, and slightly receding gum tissue. If gingivitis is present, she may recommend scheduling ultrasonic scaling as soon as possible. If it is treated early, gingivitis may be reversed, and deep cleaning may be all you need to address it. However, if your condition is more serious, then Dr. Petto Messina might also recommend expert treatment from a periodontal specialist.

What are the benefits of ultrasonic scaling?

Traditionally, scaling and root planing is performed using special equipment that allows your dentist to access the area underneath your gum tissue. Ultrasonic scaling accomplishes the same goal, but in less time and with significantly less abrasion. Ultrasonic scaling makes your deep cleaning more comfortable and effective, though your treatment may still take more than a single visit to complete.