Root Planing and Scaling: What Is Deep Cleaning and Why It Matters

Here at Brown & Baran Family Dentistry, we have garnered a strong reputation for quality dental care. The team at our practice has helped countless patients in and around the Seaford area achieve healthy and beautiful smiles using the latest in restorative dentistry treatments.

While we do use state-of-the-art techniques, the basics are still essential. With that in mind, let's consider root planing and scaling, a process that's sometimes referred to as deep cleaning.

What is root planing and scaling?

Root planing and scaling is a term referring to the careful scraping of plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque is the biofilm that oral bacteria creates in order to cling onto the surface of your teeth, and tartar (aka dental calculus) is a hardened form of plaque.

Using scraping tools, a dentist can smooth down the rough portions of a tooth that have been slight decayed and damaged, preventing tooth decay and gum disease and helping you have great dental health for years down the road.

Deep cleaning? Isn't that what happens at a regular dental visit?

No.

During a traditional dental visit, patients will have their teeth flossed and brushed. While some minor scraping may be done, the extent of it is limited.

During a full deep cleaning, the focus is on the scraping and resurfacing of a tooth. This kind of dedicated, concerted effort at treating tooth structure is what makes a dedicated deep cleaning different from your usual dental cleaning.

Who is a good candidate for root planing and scaling?

Good candidates for root planing and scaling are people who experience significant issues with tartar and plaque on their teeth, putting them at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may have issues with tartar to deal with.

Usually a dentist will recommend a root planing and scaling treatment after a routine checkup, noting issues with tartar buildup during the examination process.

What to Expect During Root Planing and Scaling Treatment

During root planing and scaling treatment, patients are given local anesthetic to eliminate pain and discomfort during the treatment process. The dentist and hygienist will work meticulously to remove any tartar buildup, with extra attention given to the hard-to-reach parts of the mouth and the gumline.

Root planing and scaling is typically only performed on one-quarter to one-half of a patient's mouth during a session. This limits the amount of local anesthetic used and cuts down on the treatment time. It's not uncommon for two or more sessions of root planing and scaling to be necessary.

What to Expect After Root Planing and Scaling Treatment

After root planing and scaling, it's not uncommon for patients to experience some numbness, tooth sensitivity, and tenderness of the gums for the remainder of the day. Patients should brush and floss as they normally would, but do so gingerly in order to prevent irritation of the gums or teeth.

Learn More About Root Planing and Scaling

If you would like to learn more about root planing and scaling and how you can have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Brown & Baran Family Dentistry will work with you to ensure your smile looks its very best.

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