What Is a Scaling and Planing?

Hispanic young man wearing casual winter sweater smiling Has your dentist told you that you need a scaling and planing? It may not sound like the most pleasant of things to have done – however, it is a very commonly recommended procedure and can be a very important step in having healthy teeth and gums!

Why would I need a scaling and planing?

Although scaling and planing are typically done at the same time, these are actually two different procedures that do two different things. In a planing, the rough areas on the root of the tooth are smoothed out, which helps to prevent bacteria and plaque from sticking to the root. A scaling is a deep cleaning of the tooth beneath the gum line.

A scaling and planing can help to reduce gum irritation – gums may be so inflamed that they begin to separate from the teeth. After the procedure, the gums will begin to heal and will reattach to the teeth. The procedure can also help to remove plaque and tartar, the hardened minerals that build up on your teeth. But tartar not only forms on the teeth; it can also get trapped in the pockets that are formed when your gums pull away from your teeth.

These problems with plaque and gum irritation can mean that regular brushing and flossing isn’t enough. A scaling and planing offers a deep, thorough cleaning that can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and even more serious problems such as tooth and jawbone loss.

The procedure is typically done with a local anesthetic, which means you’ll be awake for it. Most patients report little pain, although it can be uncomfortable. After the procedure, your teeth may feel sensitive and your gums may feel swollen and irritated, but this is only temporary.

A scaling and planing is not some new type of dental torture! It is actually just one more technique your dentist has to get your teeth their cleanest so you can have a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come. If you are having tooth pain or if it’s just time for a cleaning and checkup, contact Pound Ridge Cosmetic Dentistry. Call 914-468-4759 for an appointment today!


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