Scaling & Root Planing

If you are showing signs of gum disease, your dentist or hygienist may suggest adding scaling & root planing, as well as periodontal maintenance checkups, to your regular dental appointments.

What is Scaling & Root Planing?

Scaling & root planing, when used together, are the gold standard for periodontal treatment. 

Scaling & Root Planing are dental procedures that are mainly intended for patients with periodontitis (gum disease). Scaling addresses plaque & tartar found on the surface of the teeth, while root planing prevents the build-up of tartar & plaque down the road.

Benefits of Scaling & Root Planing

While it may sound intimidating, scaling & root planing is an extremely routine procedure with very few risks involved. Scaling & root planing is a non-surgical procedure & can help prevent major complications in the future.

If you have gum disease or require a more in-depth cleaning, scaling & root planing can:

  • Prevent bone, tissue, & tooth loss.
  • Improve gum health
  • Reduce bleeding & inflammation
  • Improve chronic bad breath, and 
  • Improve overall dental & oral health.

Scaling & Root Planing Procedure Overview

Before starting the procedure, the dentist numb your gums so that you won’t have any pain or discomfort.

  • The handheld instruments used are a scaler & a curette. By gently scraping the tool along your tooth below the gum line, the dentist can find areas of tartar & plaque buildup.
  • Electronic scalers are used to remove plaque & tartar. The tool can chip away tartar & an accompanying water spray washes away the debris as it’s removed.
  • In the root planing part of the treatment, the dentist or hygienist smoothes the surface of the tooth root. This makes it harder for plaque & tartar to collect & easier for the gums to reattach. 
  • Once the procedure is finished, the dentist may apply a disinfectant or antibiotics to further discourage the return of bacteria.

Who Needs Scaling & Root Planing?

Scaling & root planing is recommended for certain patients more than others, especially those showing signs of periodontal disease. Scaling & root planing may be recommended if you have:

  • Gingivitis
  • Gum Disease or Periodontitis
  • Overall poor dental health, or
  • Certain medical conditions that may affect the immune system.

Scaling & Root Planing Home Care Instructions

It is important to continue to care for your teeth & overall dental health after the procedure to prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and/or bacteria. Be sure to:

  • Brush & floss at least twice a day
  • Use mouthwash with antiseptic
  • Refrain from smoking & eating foods that negatively affect your teeth 
  • See your dentist regularly

It is completely normal to experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure; this can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

When Should I See a Dentist for Scaling & Root Planing?

If you experience signs of periodontal disease, it’s a good idea to speak with your dentist about scaling & root planing, among other dental procedures.

The dentists & staff at Lakeview Dental Care are committed to providing all of our patients with the highest-quality dental care. Make an appointment at one of our 6 convenient locations around New Jersey to learn more!

Call us today with any questions or to book your appointment!


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