What is Scaling and Root Planing?

What is Dental Scaling?

You've probably seen it on our bill of dental services, but may not understand what we are actually doing. This is why we want to take a moment to explain our dental services

Scaling is the removal of calcified bacterial products (tartar or calculus) from the crowns and roots of the teeth. First, an ultrasonic scaler will be used to dislodge the larger deposits and debris above and below the gum line while rinsing everything out with a stream of water. This is then followed by fine hand instruments that slip under the gum tissue to remove all calcified deposits from the pocket area to complete the scaling process.

What is Root Planning?

After all calculus or as much as can be reached has been removed, light strokes with a scaling instrument are used to remove a thin layer of diseased tooth surface. This creates a hard and smooth surface for the gum tissue to heal against.

Polishing your Teeth at the Dentist

After all scaling and root planning has been completed, your teeth may be polished to remove stain and bacteria (plaque). There is nothing like the amazing clean feel of running your tongue along a freshly polished teeth.

What to Expect with Scaling and Root Planning

Root Planning and Scaling rarely causes discomfort as it is being performed. Should you wish, we can apply a local anaesthetic injection to numb the teeth and gums. Afterwards, the tissue may be slightly tender, however this should go away within 48 hours.

Sensitive Teeth and Bleeding

Some patients experience sensitivity to cold following scaling. Keeping the area very clean with brushing and flossing will decrease this sensitivity. If the sensation persists, please inform the doctor or hygienist upon your next appointment. Hot or sweet sensitivity is unusual and should be brought to our attention.

Slight bleeding may also be noted for a few days following treatment. Generally, for any bleeding to persist beyond that point indicates that there has not been adequate home care. Bacteria and infection will re-establish quickly. Even though the area may be tender, be vigorous with your home care. If you are still concerned, or if the bleeding continues, please call our dental office at 905) 662-6700.


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