Scaling & Root Planing: What You Need To Know

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain when you chew, you likely need a scaling and root planing procedure. These two dental procedures help to keep your teeth healthy and free of cavities. It also helps to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. In this blog post, we will discuss what to expect during and after the scaling and root planing procedure.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, may be treated by various dental procedures, including gum scaling and root planing. In the United States, 47.2% of Americans aged 30 and older have gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Around 8.5% of those with severe periodontitis are afflicted.

Plaque is a substance that forms on your teeth constantly, causing gum disease. When bacteria accumulate on your teeth, they may develop tartar (dental calculus) or a more serious condition known as pyorrhoea.

Importance of Scaling and Root Planing

The treatment of gum disease is scaling and root planing, two popular dental procedures. The removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth’ surfaces is known as scaling. Under the gum line, root planing removes germs and debris more thoroughly. Depending on the stringency of the gum disease, these treatments may be done separately or in combination.

These techniques are often performed by a dentist or hygienist with specialized equipment. The treatment is generally done in several visits to remove all the plaque and tartar from your teeth.

Dental Scaling and Root Planing

Gum disease treatments usually begin with periodontal scaling and root planing. These are more like deep cleans than anything else, using handheld instruments or ultrasonic equipment. According to specialists, ultrasonic instrumentation that is “deep cleaning” is comparable to manual deep cleaning using hand instruments.

The Procedure

Your dental professional may use a topical or local anesthetic to numb the region of your mouth where they’ll be performing the procedure. They will then remove all of your plaque and tartar from your teeth, scaling down to the periodontal pocket above and below your gum line until there is no longer any tartar or plaque left on them.

The rough surfaces on their roots will be smoothed or plain once the plaque is removed from your teeth. It will aid the reattachment of your gums to your teeth. Depending on the situation, periodontal scaling and root planning might require more than one dental visit. After this treatment, you may need a follow-up appointment.


Teeth are subject to cavities, and the acid involved can cause gingivitis. Though rare ,scaling and root planing might spread dangerous germs into your blood, resulting in bacteremia or a blood infection.

To prevent disease and boost healing, your dentist may prescribe a mouth rinse or antibiotics. This type of procedure is generally distressing for your gums for a few days, with teeth sensitivity lasting up to a week. Your gums might bleed, be swollen, or hurt following the procedure.


Scaling and root planing are two dental treatments that can aid in maintaining your teeth’s health and preventing cavities. According to the severity of the gum disease, they may be performed separately or together. If you think you need this type of treatment, talk to a dental professional about all of your choices.

Think you could benefit from these techniques? Click here to book a complimentary virtual consultation with Hale Wellness Dental Studio today!