Dental Clinic Herzliya

Dental Scaling and Root Planning

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

The procedure to remove the plaque and calculus (tartar) that accumulates on the tooth is Dental scaling or dental cleaning. It is part of routine maintenance in oral care. One should visit dentists and get dental scaling regularly, to avoid dental problems.

In case of inadequate oral care and failure of regular dental scaling, the plaque and calculus extend even below the gum-line, separating teeth and gums. That leads to the formation of ‘Pocket’ Treatment of it by performing Root Planning (Deep Cleaning) restricts the further progression of gum disease (Periodontal disease).


What is Periodontal Disease?

According to recent developments, it comprises a group of diseases where the inflammatory immune response to the altered balance in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria affects the oral environment. That causes destructive changes in the supporting tissues of teeth; sometimes even have implications over the general health of individuals.

Usually, by removing the plaque-biofilm from the tooth and root surface to restore the balance, making it conducive to ‘good’ bacteria.

Symptoms associated with periodontal disease:

  • Swollen and Bleeding gums
  • Bad Breathe even after brushing
  • Loose teeth with discomfort on chewing
  • Increasing gaps in the front teeth
  • Inflammation and pus discharge in gums around the teeth
  • Increased food lodgement in between teeth

Modifiers of periodontitis/ Risk Factors:

  • Person with Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • Smoking and tobacco consumption
  • Poor Brushing and flossing

Steps in Scaling and Root Planning:

The procedure of scaling and root planning involves; 

  • Preparation before the procedure, 
  • actual procedure, 
  • and post-treatment care/instructions. 

The preparation involves administering local anesthesia.

Local Anaesthesia:

The Dentists administer local Anesthesia before they Start Scaling and Root Planning. They may use an injection, a spray, or a gel. That causes reversible loss of sensation by interfering with the nerve (carrying pain impulse) restricted to a particular region of administration. You will remain awake. Also, you will not feel any pain. Apart from little tenderness, sometimes at the injection site.

Scaling and Root Planning:

Once the gums are numb, it helps in reducing your pain, anxiety associated with the procedure. Even serves the dentists in thorough removal of the plaque, tartar, and stains, especially in the area between the teeth and the gums with no discomfort.

Scaling involves the removal of supragingival (above the gum line), Sub-gingival (below the gum line) plaque, and calculus (hardened plaque). Whereas, Root Planning is mainly the removal of soft and hard deposits. And the altered cementum (outermost covering of the tooth root). Root Planning mainly involves smoothening of the root surface. That facilitates the gums to reattach and reduce the ‘pocket’.

The dentists use hand instruments to scrape the surfaces manually. They may even use ultrasonic devices (scalers) that have a tip vibrating at an ultrasonic speed, eventually helping in detaching the plaque and calculus.

Post-Procedural steps:

You can expect few things as part of the procedure like;

  • Bleeding and Soreness in gums
  • Transient rise in Sensitivity with teeth
  • Swelling and inflammation in the gums
  • Allergic reactions to some constituents 
  • Temporary increase in looseness of the teeth

The Dentists may advise you to refrain from excessive hot and cold food. They may even prescribe desensitizing toothpaste, Antiseptic mouthwashes.

Post-treatment Home-Care:

In the treatment of periodontal disease, post-procedural home care is as essential as Scaling and Root planning.

Home-care usually involves,

Proper Brushing – twice daily brushing, Helps you in practicing good oral hygiene.

Use of Mouthwash- aids in additional control over plaque accumulation

The dentists advise Dental check-ups every three months, Regular Scaling once in six months; to restrict further progression of the disease, failure in following the home-care might lead to severe form of periodontal diseases and require surgical interventions, Bone grafting.

FAQ’s on Scaling and root planning

Can root planning lead to loose teeth?

Your teeth get loose because of the plaque and calculus. That accumulates on the tooth surface, and not because of the scaling and root planning.

How long do the gums take to heal after Dental scaling?

Healing starts immediately after the procedure; complete gum healing may take 7-10 days. And Sensitivity may persist up to six weeks.

Is deep cleaning similar to scaling and root planning?

Yes, they use both terminologies interchangeably.

Is the Root planning procedure painful?

As a part of the procedure, the dentists will administer a local anesthetic that eases the pain. You may feel some discomfort, which is quite normal.

Is it necessary to get the Scaling and Root Planning procedure?

The dentists indicate scaling and root planning in certain circumstances; if you have it, then you need to prevent the progression of the disease. Else, with untreated gums, you may lose your teeth. Choose Dental Clinic Herzliya for best treatment and advice.


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