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Root Planing and Scaling: Why Deep Cleaning Is Crucial for Your Smile

By drparr on April 08, 2015


A man smiling outdoors on a cold dayPatients who visit The Smile Center here in Virginia Beach can expect to undergo some of the finest treatments in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, with a focus on ehnacing the look and health of smiles. This is part of our comprehensive approach to dental care.

One crucial part of improving dental health and wellness is root planing and scaling treatment, which we'd like to go over right now in more detail.

What is root planing and scaling?

Root planing and scaling is a dental treatment that involves the careful scraping away of plaque and tartar (dental calculus) deposits, particularly at the gumline level. The process is also known as deep cleaning.

How is root planing and scaling different from a regular dental cleaning?

Even though it is known as deep cleaning, root planing and scaling is not like a regular cleaning you get during your checkup. These normal cleanings use an electric toothbrush to polish the teeth, much like a normal brushing of the teeth. Root planing and scaling uses special scraping tools to really get at those nooks and crannies of the mouth where plaque and tartar have been built up.

Why is root planing and scaling important?

Even if you brush and floss regularly, it's possible for you to miss the hard-to-reach portions of your smile. Plaque can remain in these areas and harden into tartar, which provides oral bacteria with a place to reside on your teeth and do major damage to your tooth structure.

Root planing and scaling is crucial for removing this plaque and tartar, preventing tooth decay and gum disease, and restoring overall dental health and wellness.

Who is a good candidate for root planing and scaling?

Good candidates for root planing and scaling treatment are patients who have major deposits of plaque and tartar on their teeth. A dentist will be able to determine the ideal candidate for care during a routine dental checkup.

What to Expect During Root Planing and Scaling

Patients will receive local anesthetic during root planing and scaling in order to avoid major issues with pain and discomfort. Only one-quarter to one-half of the mouth will be treated during a session in order to prevent the use of anesthetic on the entire mouth and to ensure a reasonable treatment time.

During the actual procedure, the patient will sit back as the dentist and a hygienist carefully scrape away plaque and tartar.

What to Expect After Root Planing and Scaling

After root planing and scaling, patients can expect their teeth and gums to feel tender for about a day after treatment. To avoid discomfort of the teeth or gums, it's important that patients avoid hot or cold substances when eating or drinking—lukewarm foods and beverages are best. Avoiding spicy foods is also ideal for a day.

Patients should brush and floss as they usually would at night, though they should be extra-gentle in order to avoid harming the gumline and to prevent discomfort.

Lean More About Root Planing and Scaling

For more information about root planing and scaling and how it can help you experience improved dental health and better overall wellness, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here at The Smile Center looks forward to your visit and giving you the info you need to have a smile that's as beautiful and healthy as possible.

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