Dental Scaling and Root Planing Explained

Dental Scaling and Root Planing ExplainedWhen is Dental Scaling Needed What to Expect During Dental Scaling Dental Scaling Aftercare Tips

A non-surgical procedure, dental scaling is used to treat persistent gum disease, also known as periodontitis.

When is Dental Scaling Needed

When plaque is not removed properly and continues to accumulate, it develops into tartar, creates a breeding ground for bacteria, leaves gums inflamed, and can lead to gum disease. When this happens, dental scaling is used to remove the plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gum line.

Plaque → Tartar → Increase in Bacteria →Gum Inflammation → Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

What to Expect During Dental Scaling

To clean the teeth below the gum line, your dentist or dental hygienist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. However, dental scaling and root planing often cause a very minimal amount of discomfort. Specialized tools are used during the procedure to remove plaque and tartar buildup, then root planing smooths out any rough spots on the roots of the teeth to lower your risk of gum disease developing in the future.

The procedure can be completed in a single visit, but most dental professionals will recommend that only a quarter of the mouth be treated per appointment.

Dental Scaling Aftercare Tips

After your dental scaling and root planing procedure, your gums may feel tender and sore. To avoid bacteria entering your bloodstream, and to accelerate the time it takes for your gums to get back to normal, it’s crucial to maintain a proper oral care routine.


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