What Is Root Planing and Scaling?

Many of the procedures used by your dentist to help maintain proper oral health have technical names that can sound scary. Root planing and scaling is just one such term, but it really is nothing to be afraid of because it is simply a deep cleaning procedure some people require as part of their dental care treatment plan.

Basically, the deep cleaning procedure involves removing plaque and tartar that has become trapped under the gum tissue at the base of the teeth. Even if you brush and floss regularly, removing plaque in this area is not easy to do on your own. If the plaque is not removed, it can irritate the gum tissue.

When the gum tissue becomes irritated, it pulls away and slowly recedes, exposing more of the tooth surface at the base. This allows more plaque to get trapped under the gum line. Over time, if not treated with a deep cleaning, the plaque hardens into tartar, a hard substance that can form on the teeth. Even on the easy-to-reach areas of the teeth, once tartar forms, it cannot be removed easily at home and requires a visit to your dentist to have it removed from the tooth’s surface.

Who Needs Root Planing and Scaling?

Normally people who are prone to gum disease and periodontal disease require a deep cleaning to help control and maintain their oral health. In some patients, who have started to develop the early signs of gum disease, a deep cleaning is an effective treatment to help reverse the gum’s recession and restore healthy gum tissue.

Is a Deep Cleaning Uncomfortable?

A deep cleaning is a much more detailed procedure compared to a regular cleaning. Since every person’s level of comfort and tolerance is different, it is sometimes necessary to use local anesthesia to numb the gum tissue prior to the cleaning, especially if the person has tooth sensitivity.

Does a Deep Cleaning Take Longer Than a Regular Cleaning?

A root planing and scaling procedure does take longer to complete than a normal cleaning. It is for this reason, some patients opt to schedule their deep cleaning procedure over two to four different visits, where one or two quadrants are cleaned at each visit. Your dentist or hygienist may also recommend to schedule multiple visits for your deep cleaning depending on the extent of plaque and tartar that needs to be removed.

Will My Gums Be Sore Afterwards?

It is not uncommon to experience some minor discomfort and tooth sensitivity after a deep cleaning. This will typically subside in a few days as the gum tissue starts to heal. It can be beneficial to avoid carbonated beverages, cold beverages, and certain foods that can be difficult to chew for several days, or based on your dentists’ recommendations. Again, it really depends on the individual.

If you have not seen a dentist in more than a year, you may need this procedure, but the only way to truly find out is to schedule a regular checkup and cleaning at Arborg Family Dental by calling (204) 376-2624 today!