What Happens During a Scaling and Planing?

LVI-Trained Dentist Serving Oakton, Vienna, McLean and Nearby Northern Virginia


Happy young man in shirt and tie gesturing OK sign and smilingHas your dentist recommended a scaling and planing procedure? It might not sound very pleasant, and it may even sound a little scary. However, this procedure is very common and can save you and your gums from a lot of pain and problems. Read on for some important information on scaling and planing!

Why Would Anyone Need a Scaling and Planing?

There are actually two different parts to a scaling and planing procedure. The scaling part is a deep cleaning beneath the gumline. This might be done using a handheld or an ultrasonic instrument. The planing is done to smooth out rough patches on the surface of the tooth root – this makes it harder for bacteria and plaque to stick to the root, accumulate, and cause decay. A scaling and planing is recommended when a patient shows signs of gum disease. After the procedure, damaged gums have the chance to heal.

Problems with your gums begin if plaque, that sticky film, has a chance to build up on teeth, which happens when teeth and gums aren’t properly cared for. Plaque is filled with bacteria, and when it accumulates on your teeth and gums, your gums become inflamed and start to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. More plaque and bacteria get trapped in these pockets, and it can be next to impossible to clean all of this out just by brushing. Even your trip to the dentist for a regular cleaning may not be enough to clean it, and so a scaling and planing is recommended.

As the gums heal and become less irritated after the procedure, the pockets shrink and the gums reattach to teeth. However, if you need a scaling and planing but don’t have one done, the plaque and bacteria will continue to build up and you might develop gum disease and eventually lose teeth and even jaw bone.

A scaling and planing procedure can save your gums from developing even more serious problems. If you are having pain in your teeth or gums, contact Softouch Dental Care, serving Oakton, Vienna, and Fairfax, Virginia, for an appointment. Call 703-319-6990 today!