Patients with gum disease or gingivitis may need to have a treatment called deep cleaning, scaling or root planning to remove plaque and bacteria that is growing under the gum line and damaging their teeth. This is a relatively simple procedure that usually takes two visits. One for each side of the mouth.
How Does Root Planing Works?
Scaling and root planing are usually recommended when gum disease is present, and they can prevent the more damaging effects to the gums and teeth, such as loosened teeth and eventually tooth loss. They can also halt a mild case of gum disease from turning into periodontal disease.
Using a special ultrasonic scaling device that removes tartar, plaque, and biofilm, our hygienist cleans the tooth surface and under the gum line.
Is Root Planing and Scaling the Same Thing?
No, root planing and scaling are not the same thing, though they are part of the procedure known as deep cleaning. Root planing is when the root surface is smoothed, and infected tissue is removed. Scaling is the removal of dental plaque from the tooth’s surface.
What to Expect
Local anesthesia is used on the area to be treated to make you comfortable and avoid pain. After scaling and root planing there will be some discomfort or soreness in the gums. Our hygienist will recommend that you use an antiseptic mouthwash or simply warm, salty water to swish around your mouth when you get home and avoid eating hard foods immediately after.
There should be no down time required, though the numbing feeling will last for a few hours after the procedure is completed, but you could return to work and can drive as you normally do. You will need to ask for time off for the scaling and root planing. Depending on how much plaque is found, it can take about an hour to do one side of the mouth.