What Is Dental Scaling?Dental scaling is the first step in removing harmful debris from your teeth and gums. Traditional methods include the use of a small tool to dislodge hardened tartar from those hard-to-reach places, such as between teeth and around dental devices such as retainers or metal braces. Clocktower Family Dental also offers the use of advanced laser technology to make this process quicker, healthier, and more accurate.
What Is Root Planing?Root planing is the second step in a deep cleaning treatment procedure. Our hygienists will smooth the roots of your tooth/teeth to help your gums reattach to the tooth itself, as infection drives a wedge between the two. Laser-assisted technology helps this process by being less invasive and allowing for a quicker recovery time. It’s important to complete the root planing step so that you can keep your teeth healthy and prevent another infection.
Dental Deep Cleaning vs. Routine Dental Cleaning
- Regular, routine cleanings focus on scaling and polishing the outer surface of the tooth. Our hygienists will also remove plaque and tartar from between teeth and dental devices installed within the mouth such as metal braces or implants. This should be done every 6 months and is 40% more effective than at-home methods.
- Deep dental cleanings involve removing bacteria and tartar from the roots of the tooth/teeth (also known as dental scaling and root planing). For some, this may take more than one visit depending on the severity of the disease. This procedure actively reverses the progression of periodontal disease, and most see results within 3 months.
When Should I Consider Scaling and Root Planing?After your first examination by our dentist, they will determine which course of action will best fit your current dental condition. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, or you are experiencing other medical conditions such as diabetes or pregnancy, a deeper cleaning may be required to save your smile from more severe problems. Scaling and root planing are especially used in treating gum disease. Common signs of periodontal disease are:
- Bad breath.
- Swollen, sensitive gums.
- Discoloration of the gums/teeth.
- Bleeding after brushing/flossing.
- Painful chewing/speaking.
- New spaces between teeth.
- Receding gumline.
Are Scaling and Root Planing Painful?Because you are numb, the procedure of scaling and root planing is not painful. You may experience some irritation and inflammation for a few days after your treatment, but this is entirely normal as your gums return to their healthy state. You’re welcome to take over-the-counter pain medication to manage your recovery symptoms. Ask our dentists or hygienists about which medications are best.
Minimize IrritationYou may experience some tenderness for a few days after your treatment, this is normal and will subside as you heal. You may also notice some extra space between teeth, which is good! The plaque and tartar have been effectively removed. To prevent any further, unnecessary irritation, here are a few ideas to keep in mind while you’re on the mend:
- Eat soft foods: Soups, eggs, mashed potatoes, and even pasta are great!
- Food temperature: Avoid overly cold or hot meals, warm is fine!
- Avoid spicy/acidic food: These foods can irritate your healing gums.
- Over-the-counter medication: Be sure to take medications as directed.