What Is Deep Scaling and Why Do I Need It?

What Is Deep Scaling and Why Do I Need It?

So often we think our oral health begins and ends with our teeth, but our gums play an important role, not just in our oral health, but in our overall well-being. Periodontal, or gum, disease increases the likelihood of heart disease in individuals by 20%. Maintaining our periodontal health can be life saving. When indicated, we at DDS group use deep scaling, also called subgingival scaling, to keep gums healthy and free of disease.


What Is Deep Scaling?


Think of “deep scaling” as a deep cleaning. During routine dental check-ups, hygienists typically clean teeth up to the gum line. In deep scaling, a dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar on teeth below the gum line from the pocket area between the teeth and gums that forms when inflammation is present. The gum tissue is gently pushed back. Then dentists do a procedure called root planing, in which the exposed surfaces of roots are smoothed to remove inflammatory agents like calculus, microorganisms, and toxins  promoting reattachment to the gums.

The goal of deep scaling and root planing is to treat periodontitis, or gum disease, optimally causing the disease to go into remission. Studies show deep scaling and root planing to be an extremely effective non-surgical procedures for the treatment of gum disease.


Why Would a Patient Need Deep Scaling?


Deep scaling is only done when gum disease is present. Typically, early stage gum disease is treated with a professional dental cleaning. When disease has advanced, is when we incorporate deep scaling and root planing into treatment. At this advanced stage, if left untreated gums begin to pull away from the teeth and form pockets where plaque is trapped.  Treatment can prevent the unfortunate consequences of bone and tooth loss.


What Will I Experience During Deep Scaling Treatment?


It’s natural to be nervous before any kind of dental procedure, but knowing what to expect can help put you at ease. What follows is a cursory look at what happens during deep scaling and root planing, but please don’t hesitate to ask our staff what you can expect for your specific procedure.

At the outset of the procedure we apply local anesthetic to the areas being treated. This means that you’ll be awake for the procedure;  you may feel some pressure and mild discomfort, but you will not feel pain.

The deep cleaning has two parts. First, your dentist will scale your teeth using either a hand instrument like a periodontal scaler or curette, or an ultrasonic tool. This scaling removes the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Then your dentist will perform root planing to help your gums reattach to your teeth.


What Can I Expect After Treatment?


Like any dental procedure, you’re likely to feel some tooth sensitivity and even a bit of pain for a few days after treatment. Because of the work done on your gums, they too may feel sore. It’s also not unusual for your gums to bleed a small amount, but if the bleeding will not stop or seems excessive, contact us right away.

Depending on your circumstances, we’ll either recommend a saltwater rinse to soothe sore gums and keep infection at bay or an antibacterial rinse. Sometimes we may also insert antibiotics directly into the gum pockets that were cleaned.

There are times when gum disease has advanced to the point that two treatments are needed. Regardless, once the scaling has been completed, you will come back for a follow up visit so we can check how your gums have healed and measure your pockets to make sure the gum tissue has successfully reattached to the planed roots.

Remember, that taking care of your oral health is promoting an overall healthier you.


Schedule Your Deep Scaling Treatment


Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your deep scaling treatment. We look forward to seeing you!