Scaling & Root Planing


Gum disease is one of the issues that threaten your oral health. It is an inflammation of the gum tissue that causes problems to your teeth and the supporting bones in your mouth. This can be addressed with dental scaling and root planing for improved oral health.

Dental scaling is a non-surgical procedure to treat gum disease also known as periodontitis. During the procedure, your dentist removes any plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth facilitating the gums to regain their health.

Root planing does a thorough scaling of the root surface, decreasing the inflammation of gum tissue. During root scaling, your dentist will smooth out rough areas at the root surface that are a target for plaque development thereby eliminating its build up.

There is a formation of film of bacteria on your teeth called plaque. When it is not cleaned well, the bacteria can lead to gum disease causing your gums to be inflamed. This pulls away the gum from your teeth thereby developing spaces between your teeth and gum called pockets. If not rectified, the plaque then starts to deposit in these pockets, which then cannot be removed by brushing. When this prolongs, it could lead to the loss of bone and teeth, causing damage to the structures below the gum line.

If the pockets aren’t very deep and no damage has been caused, just a professional cleaning may resolve the issue. Otherwise, scaling and root planing is recommended to remove all the plaque lodged deep in the pockets.


The whole process can take 2 to 4 visits depending on the severity of the issue. If the gum tissue is sensitive from the disease, local anesthesia may be administered. Scaling can be done using a combination of hand held and ultrasonic instruments. A thorough examination of the mouth is conducted. Ultrasonic scaling devices are used to remove the plaque and tartar with the help of its vibrational metal tip. Manual instruments can be used to eliminate any remaining build up on the tooth surface or underneath the gum line.

During root planing, the teeth root is smoothened out, helping the gums to reattach to the teeth eliminating the pockets. Severe cases of gum disease require surgery. Scaling and root planing is still done prior to the surgery as preparation.


After the procedure, you may experience pain for a couple of days and your teeth may be sensitive. Your gums may swell up, bleed and feel tender. Your dentist may provide medication or insert it into the pocket directly.

Your dentist will schedule regular visits to see how the gums are healing and measure the depth of he pockets. Further treatment might be needed based on the progress.Practice good oral care to prevent the issue form recurring.

Your oral health is our top priority. If you want to have your plaque build up removed or want to make sure your gum tissue is healthy, set up an appointment or call us to find out more about the options available to you.