What is teeth scaling?
Your dentist may recommend that you get your teeth scaled. This procedure is generally conducted along with root planing. In more common terms, these procedures are known as a “deep cleaning.” Teeth scaling and root planing help to treat chronic periodontal disease (gum disease). They are more in-depth than a typical teeth cleaning. Teeth scaling and root planing often take more than one dental visit and could require a local anesthetic based on the severity of your chronic periodontal disease and if you have receding gums. Recovery from this outpatient procedure usually only takes a few days but may take longer.
When we need teeth scaling?
Dentist will recommend teeth scaling and root planning if your mouth has signs of chronic periodontal disease. These procedures can help stop the harmful effects of this condition and keep your mouth healthy. Chronic periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. This causes large pockets to grow between your teeth and gums, and more bacteria can grow there that you cannot reach with teeth brushing at home.
That’s why it’s key to floss regularly to reach spots that toothbrushes can’t.
If left untreated, chronic periodontal disease can lead to:
- Bone and tissue loss
- Tooth loss
- Loose teeth
- Moving teeth
Chronic periodontal disease affects nearly half of the adult population over the age of 30.
Some of the reasons you may develop this condition include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Changes in hormones
- Poor nutrition
- Family history
- Other medical conditions
You may experience deep pockets between your gums and teeth with chronic periodontal disease, but there are other symptoms of the condition, including:
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed, red, or tender gums
- Bad breath
- Shifting permanent teeth
- A change in your bite
What happens during teeth scaling?
Teeth scaling and root planing can be done at your dentist’s office as an outpatient procedure. You may need to schedule one or more appointments for the procedure depending on the severity of your condition.
Your dentist may or may not need to use a local anesthetic to lessen the discomfort of the procedure. If you are concerned about pain, discuss this with your dentist.
Your dentist will first conduct teeth scaling. This involves scraping the plaque from your teeth and in any large pockets that have developed between your teeth and gums. Next, your dentist will do the root planing. Your dentist will smooth the tooth roots using a scaling tool. This smoothing helps your gums to reattach to your teeth. Your dentist may also recommend additional treatment depending on the health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist may use antimicrobial agents in your mouth or prescribe oral antibiotics for you to take for several days to help you heal faster. Traditional tools are typically used to perform the procedure, including a scaler and a curette. But there are other instruments available for teeth scaling, such as lasers and ultrasonic devices.
Dental scaling occurs with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or both. The dentist will start the procedure with a thorough examination of your mouth. Next, an ultrasonic scaling device will be used to eliminate the plaque bacteria with sonic vibrations. The ultrasonic scaling device removes tartar (calculus), plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line.
You visit the dentist every six months for your dental check-up and professional cleaning, then one visit the dentist tells you that you have gum disease. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue that could affect the teeth and supporting bone in your mouth. Plaque bacteria, acids and certain foods all contribute to the development of gum disease. Fortunately, two common methods exist to reverse the disease — dental scaling and root planing.
If your gum tissue is sensitive and diseased, local anesthesia can be administered to numb the tissue. If your teeth are sensitive before or after the professional cleaning, it may be recommended that you use a desensitizing paste to provide you with sensitivity relief. Dental scaling and root planing may take two to four visits based upon the level of oral disease in the mouth. If you have periodontal disease, dental scaling and root planing will be completed first and then periodontal surgery will be conducted thereafter.
In the Dr. naseri clinic will educate you how to care for your teeth and gum tissue. Proper flossing and brushing will be reviewed to help you eliminate the development of future bacteria and tartar formation.