Scaling and Planing Explained

Beautiful woman portrait If your dentist has recommended a scaling and planing procedure, not to worry! It may sound a bit scary, but this procedure is actually very common and can be a very important part of your dental health. Here is some information on what scaling and planing is, and how it can help to keep your teeth and gums their healthiest.

What is a scaling and planing procedure?

The procedure known as “scaling and planing” actually involves two steps, which are typically done at the same time. Scaling involves a deep cleaning of the tooth beneath the gumline, using handheld or ultrasonic instruments. Planing is done to smooth out the rough areas on the surface of the tooth root – a smooth surface helps to keep bacteria and plaque from sticking to the root.

Why would I need a scaling and planing?

When bacteria and plaque (that sticky film on the teeth) build up on the teeth and aren’t cleaned off properly (say, at your twice yearly visits to the dentist!), it can become so bad that your gums get irritated. They may start to pull away from the teeth and form “pockets.” More plaque and bacteria build up in these pockets, making the gums even more irritated and inflamed. The plaque and bacteria become so bad that they are impossible to remove with just your regular daily brushing routine or your regular cleaning appointments at the dentist’s office. If left untreated, it can lead to even more severe problems with the gums and even tooth loss.

Once the procedure is complete and your teeth are clean beneath the gumline, your gums will begin to heal and reattach to the teeth, and they will also feel and look better.

Scaling and planing is an important way to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Take care of your teeth by brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and visiting Soft Touch Dentistry for cleanings twice a year or whenever you are having pain or discomfort with your teeth or gums. Contact the Brighton office at (617) 782-9250 or the Newton office at (617) 332-8146 for an appointment today.

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