Tartar is plaque that has had time to harden and is that white (sometimes yellow) substance found at the base of the tooth just above the gumline. Tartar is usually not removed with standard brushing and flossing and usually requires coming in to see us for proper and thorough removal.
Tooth scaling is a service that involves using a tool that is specifically designed to break-apart and remove tartar. We gently run the tooth scaling tool along the front and back surfaces of teeth that have any signs of tartar which effectively cleans the gumline and smooths the tooth enamel. Every time you come in for a dental checkup, tooth scaling is performed to help prevent future dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.
We provide our patients with the luxury of Ultrasonic Scaling. It is more comfortable for patients and allows for the scaling process to be completed faster than having to 'scrape' tooth surfaces like the conventional scaling process.
Sometimes, tartar can find its way below the gumline and attach itself to tooth roots. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and more serious issues such as periodontitis and gums that detach from the tooth and recede. When this happens, we will need to perform a deep cleaning (also known as root planing) that involves ridding tartar from your tooth roots and smoothing the rough root surfaces to allow gums to re-attach themselves.
Root planing, also known as a "deep cleaning" is a dental procedure performed when periodontal (gum) disease is detected. Signs of periodontal disease severe enough to warrant a deep cleaning include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and a shrinking or receding gumline.
A deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from tooth roots (below the gumline) and leaves behind a smooth, clean surface for gum tissue to re-attach itself to. If you are currently experiencing signs of periodontal (gum) disease, it is important that you call our office at 925-602-9777 and talk to us about coming in for a dental exam. You can also request an appointment online which may help speed up the process.