Dental Tips Blog


What is Tooth Scaling?

Tooth scaling, also known as root planing or deep dental cleaning, is a treatment for mild gum disease.  Mild to moderate cases of periodontal disease respond well to deep cleanings in affected areas.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the most common reason for tooth loss as an adult.  One way to prevent this tooth loss is to remove any of the bacteria and plaque that may have accumulated at the pulled away gum area.  This type of cleaning is different than regular cleanings performed by your dental hygienist.

Dental scaling or root planning removes plaque and tartar that has developed below the natural gum line.  It also removes plaque on the roots.  The tooth and root are carefully cleaned and then evenly smoothed out.  This cleaning and smoothing makes it more difficult for bacteria to later adhere.  This process keeps your natural teeth and roots healthier, and helps preserve your natural teeth and smile.  Before or after the deep cleaning, your dentist may also prescribe a round of antibiotics to help prevent infection and to help kill any remaining bacteria.

Tooth scaling and root planning are more extensive than routine dental cleanings.  If tartar has developed well below the gum line, a local anesthetic may be used.  If you have any concern about pain or anxiety about the procedure, do let your dentist know.  Depending on the extent of plaque and tartar build-up, deep cleanings may be divided up over a period of time.

It is important to keep your deep cleaning appointments, to help preserve your teeth and to reverse your gum disease.  If your gum recession cannot be treated with a deep cleaning further treatment may be necessary, including certain types of oral surgery.

The best way to prevent gum disease is to have good oral hygiene and eat a well-balanced diet each and every day.  See your dentist regularly for routine examinations and cleanings, and your teeth will last a lifetime!

Posted on the behalf of Muccioli Dental


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