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Scaling and Root Planing: A Dental Deep Cleaning

A deep cleaning treatment that rids your gum line of hardened tartar and plaque, learn more about the scaling and root planing process.

Almost half of all adults over the age of 30 show signs of gum disease. It’s incredibly common, and it can be dangerous. Proper oral hygiene can help prevent it, but you should be seeing a dentist often to make sure your teeth and gums are in good condition.

If you haven’t had a professional cleaning in a while, you may need scaling and root planing. We’re here to talk about why you may need it and what happens during the procedure. Read on to learn more.

Why Is Scaling and Root Planing Important?

First, let’s talk about gum disease. As we mentioned, it’s incredibly common, but it’s also dangerous. Without proper care, it can result in tooth loss and even serious physical health problems.

Scaling and root planing is critical for treating (and preventing) gum disease, particularly in its early stages.

Dental hygienists aim to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surfaces of the roots of the teeth and the pockets surrounding them. By eliminating these harmful substances, the gums can heal, and the progression of gum disease will slow down or stop.

An advanced dental cleaning will help prevent the advancement of gum disease to a more severe stage like periodontitis. By removing the source of infection and reducing inflammation, the procedure promotes gum tissue reattachment and prevents the destruction of supporting structures that can lead to tooth loss.

You can’t do these things at home with a toothbrush and floss. You need the help of a dentist or hygienist.

What Happens During the Scaling and Root Planing Process?

Some people think that periodontal scaling and root planing sound scary, but it isn’t! If you experience dental anxiety, you may even be able to get laughing gas during the process.

Before the procedure begins, the dentist or hygienist may administer a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the treatment. This isn’t necessary for many people, so you can request to not use it if you’d prefer.

Using specialized dental instruments, the dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, both above and below the gum line. They may scrape your teeth or use high-frequency vibrations. This is what “scaling” is.

After scaling, the next step is root planing. This is when the rough surfaces of the tooth roots are smoothed out to help remove any remaining bacteria and promote gum tissue reattachment. The dentist or hygienist will use scaling instruments or a laser to remove the infected root surfaces.

Do You Need Any Special Aftercare?

This is a normal outpatient procedure and most people don’t need any special aftercare.

Your teeth and gums may feel a bit sensitive, so you may want to stick with soft foods for the rest of the day. If you received a local anesthetic, you should be careful while eating hot or crunchy foods until it wears off as you may burn your gums.

You should also try to practice great oral hygiene. Brush, floss, and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Is It Time for a Dental Deep Cleaning?

If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, it may be time for a scaling and root planing appointment. It may save your teeth and gums! Make your appointment with a local dentist today.

For more helpful health articles (and more), don’t forget to check out the rest of the site!

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