What is scaling and root planing?


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If you have an excess of plaque accumulated on your teeth, this can lead to gum disease and should be addressed.  The routine procedure to remove excess plaque from the teeth consists of dental scaling and root planing newark oh and is sometimes called “deep cleaning.”  During a standard teeth cleaning, your dental health professional will clean the surfaces of the teeth.  If a more thorough cleaning treatment is needed, your dentist may recommend dental scaling and root planing.  Scaling is commonly performed on patients with gum disease and involves cleaning below the gumline to remove built-up plaque, which will solidify and become tartar if left untreated.  While some form of plaque buildup can be expected for every person, when plaque buildup becomes excessive, it can lead to gum disease.  Plaque is made up of naturally occurring proteins and bacteria that are present in your saliva, which covers your teeth with a thin film nearly all the time; when combined with tiny food particles, acids, and sugars in your food, this film builds up and becomes plaque.  Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental cleanings, will help remove this plaque as it builds up, preventing more serious problems from arising and helping keep your gums healthy.  When a person’s gums are healthy, the gum tissue fits tightly around the teeth, keeping plaque out of the area between the teeth and gums.  If you start to develop gum disease, the gum tissue surrounding the teeth loosens, causing pockets between the teeth and gums that can fill with plaque that is harder to remove and causes the gum disease itself to worsen, as well as causing unpleasant symptoms like discomfort and bad breath.  If the pockets in your gums are more than 4 millimeters deep, your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning treatment to remove this trapped plaque, treat existing gum disease, and prevent further disease from developing.

More on Deep Teeth Cleaning : Is Scale & Root Planing Painful?

If you last cleaned your teeth a while ago, your dentist may suggest dental scaling and root planning. A common deep cleaning procedure, dental scaling, can be used to treat and prevent gum disease. Dental scaling involves the removal of tartar and plaque from your teeth to promote healthy gums.

If a scaling and planning procedure is in your near future, you may be curious about what to expect, how to alleviate scaling and root planning pain, and what the process entails. Here we’ll go into more depth about scaling and root planing the teeth.

What Does Dental Scaling Aim to Accomplish?

Plaque forms along the gum line due to normal eating and drinking, bringing bacteria with it. The presence of these bacteria along the gum line is a risk factor for the development of gum disease. The irritation caused by this deposit causes the gums to recede and separate from the teeth, a condition is known as recession. The gums and teeth separate, creating spaces in which plaque can collect.

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Gum recession poses a threat to the health of your gums and teeth. When cleaning your teeth, scaling is the most extreme method that doesn’t involve surgery. Scaling can help your gums recover from disease by stopping its spread. In root planning, a more complex procedure, the tooth root is smoothed below the gum line to facilitate gum tissue reattachment.

What Is the Scale and Root Planing Procedure?

Plaque embedded in the enamel will be scraped off by hand, just like a dentist or hygienist would. Ultrasonic equipment with a vibrating tip may be used in some dental offices for plaque removal. The time it takes to clean the teeth is contingent upon the level of plaque present and the health of the gums. It is recommended that local anesthetics be used to numb the area before any procedure.

Plaque and tartar removal is essential for gum health and tooth restoration. One or more appointments may be necessary to remove all deposits, or the procedure may be split into four separate visits.

Does It Hurt to Scale Your Teeth?

Since scaling and root planing are more invasive, your dentist will likely take precautions to lessen any scaling and root planing pain you may experience. The procedure itself should be relatively painless, apart from your dentist’s efforts to alleviate any discomfort.

If you experience any post-operative pain or swelling, your dentist may suggest using special toothpaste. If the scale and planning process is going to be more invasive than anticipated, it may be necessary to schedule multiple appointments.

Your gums will hurt for a few days after the procedure, but the infection, edoema, and recession should improve. The advancement of gum disease can be halted with this surgery. Loss of teeth and even heart disease have been linked to gum disease. Get some distance, brush, and floss as directed, and see the dentist regularly. Excellent habits are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Possible Dangers Associated with Dental Scaling

Scaling and root planing the teeth without anesthetics are common, but it’s not risk-free. If you want to protect yourself from these risks, your dentist needs to know everything there is to know about your health. The of the treatment increases the risk that bacteria from the patient’s mouth will enter the bloodstream. Suppose your immune system is compromised or at a higher risk for infection. In that case, your dentist may take extra precautions to alleviate your scaling and root planing pain during a dental scaling and root planing procedure.

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typically split this into two parts, or four quadrants, to make the process more manageable. Patients with less severe cases of gum disease may only need one office visit to have their condition treated, albeit at a higher cost in terms of time.

2.Intrapocket Anesthesia for Scaling and Root Planing in Pain-Sensitive Patients

01 May 2003

3.Intra-pocket anaesthesia and pain during probing, scaling and root planing: a systematic review and meta-analysis

21 April 2016

What are periodontal scaling and root planing?

In this procedure, plaque and tartar are removed below the gumline. This can be done using a metal dental tool, ultrasound, and laser energy. A dentist will break up plaque and tartar before removing them. If the roots also have plaque buildup, the root planing procedure will roughen them to remove the plaque and then smooth out the rough areas so the tooth can be healthy and fully functional.

How long do scaling and root planing take?

In most cases, this procedure will need to be split into four appointments. This allows the dentist to separate your mouth into quadrants and clean each individually. Since the process is very methodical, it takes longer than a standard dental cleaning and the gums may experience some irritation and inflammation. By cleaning only one area of ​​the mouth at a time, the process is more manageable and recovery time is reduced.

Will the dentist use anesthesia?

Yes, your gums will be numb before the root scaling and planing procedure begins. Some dentists may also use nitrous oxide or other forms of sedation to help you relax before starting. When sedation is used, a dentist can sometimes perform more of the procedure in one sitting. Also, you can use desensitizing toothpaste afterward to further numb your gums.

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

There is a risk of developing an infection from this procedure. You can help reduce the risk by rinsing with warm saltwater throughout the day and keeping your teeth clean. We can also prescribe an antibiotic rinse for you to use. However, the biggest risk comes from not completing the procedure at all. This can lead to more serious gum disease, gum recession, and even tooth loss.

What should I expect during and after scaling and root planing?

During the procedure, you can expect to have your gums numb and your teeth cleaned very slowly and methodically. Most often, ultrasound is used to help break up plaque and tartar before a dental tool scrapes it from the tooth. Some dentists use lasers to perform the entire procedure. Because your gums will be numb, you will feel some pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any direct pain or discomfort. However, afterward, your gums will be sore, swollen, and maybe sore in general. You can help control this with ibuprofen and ice packs if needed. Usually the worst passes within four hours, so you might just want to go home and sleep. In rare cases where your jaw is sore and stiff, you can put a warm compress on it.

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For several days to a week or more, you may feel some sensitivity while eating, especially if you eat something sweet. One way to approach this is to use something gentle to clean the area, then place desensitizing toothpaste on a cotton swab so it can be applied gently to the area around the gums.

Can I eat normally after a root planing and scaling procedure?

No. We recommend avoiding anything hot for two days and not eating anything crunchy like nuts or crisps for four days. This is to ensure that your gums do not experience further irritation. At the same time, your gums may be sensitive to sugar, so avoid sweets or treats for several days. If you have a sweet tooth, try a sugar-free popsicle.

What happens to my gums after they have healed from the procedure?

Your gums should start to return to normal and there should be no long-term restrictions on what you can eat. By removing plaque and tartar, your gums should begin to return to good health. This means that the swelling you experienced will decrease, they will return to a healthy pink color, and they will no longer be irritated in general. As long as the procedure works as it should, you won’t need more invasive gum procedures. However, if you’ve waited a long time and your gums have already started receding, this may not be enough. You may also need a future gum graft procedure.

Date reviewed: August 2020, Larissa Hirsch, MD

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/14/2020.

3-Adjunctive Use of Antimicrobials With Scaling and Root Planing

Available online 23 March 2021,

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