Teeth Scaling & Root Planing – is it worth it?

Excerpt: You’ve probably heard the term “teeth scaling” before, if you’re wondering what it is or you’re looking for more information this blog is for you!
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Teeth Scaling & Root Planing

Teeth scaling & root planing
is a common procedure that may be recommended by your dental hygienist, they may also recommend root planing be done at the same time. Typically, these are referred to as, "deep cleaning".
  • Teeth scaling - This process involves removing the buildup of plaque & tartar from the teeth.
  • Root plaining - Your dental hygienist will smooth the tooth roots using a scaling tool. Its purpose is to help the gums reattach to the roots.
These procedures often require more than one visit to the dental hygienist, depending on the severity of your plaque and tartar buildup. 

You’ve probably heard the term “teeth scaling” before, if you’re wondering what it is or you’re looking for more information this blog is for you! We’ll discuss all the important aspects of teeth scaling and if we think it’s worth it for you! (Spoiler alert… we definitely do!)

What Are The Benefits Of Teeth Scaling?

Plaque and tartar buildup has many complications if left untreated. 

Here are some of the benefits:
  • Whiter & healthier smile – Plaque may be colorless, but tartar is not. Getting it removed can substantially whiten your smile.
  • Healthier gums – Plaque & tartar will eventually impact your gums if left untreated. This can lead to incredibly serious dental issues that can be painful & expensive!
  • Eliminates bad breath – Plaque & tartar build up are significant contributors to bad breath, getting them removed will help solve this issue. 
  • Good for your heart – There have been many studies showing a connection between heart and oral health. Simply removing plaque and tartar can reduce your chances of heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and many other life-threatening illnesses.
  • Saves you money – Taking care of the little problems can help prevent them from becoming bigger problems which will save you time and money!
  • Prevents tooth loss – Plaque and tartar can lead to diseases that can impact a tooth so bad it may loosen and eventually fall out!

Can you do teeth scaling and root planing at home?

It is very unwise to attempt scaling and/or root planning at home. Specialized training, experience and adherence to strict sterilization protocols are required to safely perform scaling and root planing. When not performed correctly, the gum tissue can be damaged requiring surgical correction, infections can occur by using instruments that are not properly sterilized and teeth can be damaged and eventually lost.  Do not attempt scaling and/or root planing of your teeth at home – leave these tasks to trained professionals such as a dentist or dental hygienist. 

Who needs to Teeth Scaling & Root Planing?

Not everyone needs these procedures, however, they are recommended for patients who show signs of chronic periodontal disease. Chronic periodontal disease occurs when the plaque on your teeth cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. 

If your gums pull away from your teeth, it can cause pockets (measurable depths greater than 4 millimeters) to form, this is a big problem since you can’t reach the bacteria in these pockets at home. To help prevent this from happening, flossing is essential, since flossing can reach places brushing can’t.

Why is Chronic periodontal disease bad?

Chronic periodontal disease is terrible for patients, if left untreated, it can lead to:


  • Bone and tissue loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Loose teeth
  • Moving teeth

What Causes Chronic Periodontal Disease?

Chronic Periodontal Disease is very common, here’s how it may occur:
  • Poor or inadequate dental hygiene
  • Poorly control diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) 
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Aging
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Poor nutrition
  • Family history
  • Other medical conditions

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Periodontal Disease?

If you experience any of these, please consider seeing a dental hygienist:
  • Bleeding gums
  • Inflamed, red, or tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Shifting permanent teeth
  • A change in your bite

What happens during teeth scaling & Root planing?

 Teeth scaling is a common procedure in dental clinics, here’s what will happen:

  • A local anesthetic may be applied to lessen the discomfort.
  • The teeth scaling will begin, this involves scraping the tooth above and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar build-up. The scaling can be performed by hand, with an electronic scaler or a combination of the two. 
  • Root planing will occur afterward, the dental hygenist will smooth out the roots of the tooth so the gums attach to the teeth properly.
  • Antimicrobial agents may be recommended for your mouth afterward. This will help accelerate the healing process.
  • Host modulation may also be recommended for additional treatment to your gums. If it is, medication will be applied directly to your gums to lessen the long-term negative effects of periodontal disease.

What should I do after the procedure? 

After care is pretty simple, just stay away from hot or cold beverages and foods for a few days if you’re experiencing an increase in sensitivity. You may want to get a sensitive toothpaste to help accelerate the healing process.
If you are curious about scaling and root planing, you can call us at (587) 409-2959! 

There are minimal risks, the best tactic is to take extra care of your home dental routine to minimize the chances of infection. The main concern is an increase in tooth sensitivity. Which can be helped by using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

The cost for 1 unit of scaling (equals 15 minutes of scaling) is $67.16

If you experience:

  • Worsening pain
  • Poor healing
  • A fever

Please call the clinic, however, these problems are very rare.

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