Root scaling and planing (often called deep cleaning) is a non-surgical procedure used to remove plaque and tartar under the gum line and to promote good gum health. There are some difference between scaling and root planing. Scaling is basically the process of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, whereas root planing is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. Often, the two processes tend to blur together since during the cleaning process, tartar is scaled away and any necessary root planing is performed at the same time. Any roughness can be planed away to result in a silky smooth surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a periodontal scaling and root planing?
You may need scaling and root planing if you are suffering from mild to moderate periodontal disease. Visit our office for an exam if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, such as inflamed or receding gums, chronic halitosis, or loose teeth. If your periodontal disease is advanced, you may require grafting or flap surgery.
What should I expect during a scaling and root planing?
If you require a scaling and root planing, you’ll first be made comfortable – perhaps using a local anesthetic. You should feel little or no discomfort other than the sensation of the cleaning tools scraping away hardened plaque. Procedure lengths vary according to the extent of the disease and the areas it is located within the mouth. If your periodontal disease is widespread, you may need to spread out your treatment into multiple visits.
Will I need to follow any special post-treatment care instructions?
Yes. You’ll need to follow all instructions for antibiotic usage following your treatment. You’ll also be advised to avoid certain habits that can cause recurrences of periodontal disease in the future, such as smoking. Most patients experience little or no discomfort after scaling and root planing, although your mouth may continue to be numb for several hours following the procedure.