Scaling is a routinely performed procedure which helps patients suffering from excessive plaque build-up and gum disease. Although a standard teeth cleaning deals with the exterior of your teeth, scaling is a process that goes much deeper. If your dentist has suggested dental scaling along with root planning, it will serve you well to know about the procedure so you can make your preparations accordingly.
What is scaling?
Scaling is a form of dental cleaning which can easily reach below the gum line and remove excessive plaque build-up. The complete process of dental scaling along with root planning is commonly known as deep cleaning. The treatment goes way beyond general cleaning which you generally receive during a regular checkup or your annual visit.
Why is it necessary to get dental scaling done?
We all experience plaque build-up at some point in our lives. The proteins and bacteria along with the saliva present in the mouth can form a slim layer which covers your teeth almost all of the time. Whenever you consume something, sugars, acids and tiny food particles can get stuck to this thin film-like layer, causing a buildup to accumulate on your teeth, which is otherwise known as plaque. Also, the bacteria that is present in the plaque are the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your teeth, flossing and standard dental cleanings help get rid of the plaque build-up and prevent a serious problem from arising. However, if your gums are healthy, the tissue fights firmly around the tooth, keeping plaque out. But, if gum disease starts forming, the tissue becomes loose.
Healthy gums are attached to the tooth around 1-3 millimetres beneath the gum line. Gum disease causes the development of much deeper pockets which can easily fill up with plaque and make your problems worse. It also causes various other symptoms such as bad breath to become more noticeable. If your pockets are 4 millimetres or deeper, your dentist may suggest dental scaling in order to get rid of the plaque present underneath the gum line and treat the disease.
How does it feel?
For many people, dental scaling could be an uncomfortable experience, especially if you have extremely sensitive gums. Your dentist might offer local anaesthetic which can help numb the gum tissue, making the procedure more comfortable for you. You can also speak to your dentist about the various options he can use to desensitize the area to keep pain and any kind of discomfort to a minimum throughout the process.
Scaling is a complicated process and may take a number of visits to be done as each session will address a different part of the mouth. Some dentists may divide the mouth into four different quadrants, whereas others may perform the procedure by separating it into two halves. You can also speak to your dentist about whether it’s possible to schedule your scaling appointment to be completed in one visit. Although this may not be an option available for all, it could be presented if you’re suffering from gum disease that isn’t severe and is capable to sit for a long procedure.
What should you expect afterwards?
After scaling, your mouth will probably feel sensitive and sore. Few patients may also experience bleeding and swelling immediately after the procedure which may last a few days. Your dentist may recommend a special toothpaste to desensitize the gums and ease the discomfort. You may also get a mouthwash which can help keep your gums clean. It’s vital that you exercise proper brushing and flossing methods post your scaling session as it stops plaque build-up from forming in the same exact areas again.
Dental scaling is very common and you’re not alone when your dentist suggests the procedure. Scheduling your appointment with dentist can help you fight unseen plaque and help in maintaining a much cleaner mouth.