What to Expect During Scaling and Root Planing

Posted Dec 15, 2018 | Share this Online  


There are several ways to treat gum disease. In the earliest stages, the treatment involves a professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits. As the disease progresses, the treatments get more aggressive.

For people who have a more advanced stage of gum disease, one possible treatment is scaling and root planing. Before undergoing this procedure, it is a good idea to learn what to expect.

What is a Scaling and Root Planning Treatment?

Gum disease is a progressive disease. The longer it is left untreated, the worse the problems become. Over time, gum disease causes pockets to form in the beneath the gum line. These pockets become a place for bacteria to grow. The teeth begin to pull away from the gum line, creating more problems. A professional cleaning is not always able to clean out the bacteria formed in the pockets. This is where scaling and root planing comes into play.

Scaling involves scraping off the plaque and tartar on the teeth and gum line. A thin layer of the tooth is removed. Once the scaling is complete, root planing takes place. This procedure smooths out the roots of the teeth. This allows the gums to reattach to the teeth and removes the pockets where bacteria grow.

How It Is Done

Scaling and root planing is a surgical procedure done in our office. Most people rely on a local anesthetic during the procedure, although other forms of sedation are available to those who need it. After the procedure, a person may feel some discomfort and sensitivity in their teeth.

Their gums may become swollen. This typically subsides during the first week after the procedure. Different medications can help prevent any infection and can help with the pain and swelling. A follow up visit allows our dentists to see if the gums are healing properly and if the pockets in the gums are getting smaller or at least not getting any bigger.

For more information about this or any other dental procedure, contact the professionals at our office to schedule an appointment.