What Is Root Planning and Dental Scaling?


Anytime you are in for a routine dental cleaning your dentist will include scaling which is the removal of tartar build-up and plaque. Tartar’s only way of being removed, in fact, is through scaling because brushing and flossing will have no effect on its removal. If you do, however, show signs of gum disease more advanced cleanings may be required that use dental scaling and root planing that can prevent further damage.

Gum Disease Can Be Harmful To Your Health

The gums, when working properly are designed to wrap around teeth, providing a block against harmful bacteria that can hurt your teeth. As gums become infected, they start to peel back away from the teeth exposing them to harmful elements. The pockets they leave behind are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria thus creating plaque and tartar build-up under the gumline.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

What is Dental Scaling and Root Planing?

Similar to brushing your teeth, planing, and scaling is an extension of that but below the gumline. A more advanced cleaning if you will.

With dental scaling, cleaning above and below gums is what it’s all about, whereas root planing smooths uneven surfaces of roots in order to stop bacteria from a free-for-all in your mouth. This creates a surface that bacteria have a hard time attaching to.

If you have gum disease, scaling and planing can help reverse the tide and help promote healthy gums. To get back to healthy gums, debris needs to be removed completely through this process. This is typically the first step before gum surgery is required.

There is minimal pain with scaling and once tartar is removed the gums feel much better as this is a non-surgical procedure. At times it can require a few appointments to fully remove all the debris and pain killers might be available for any discomfort.