Scaling and Planing

istock 1208414307 If you are considering a cosmetic dentistry procedure such as porcelain veneers, the first step your dentist will want to take is to make sure your teeth are strong and your gums are healthy. Or, maybe he or she has said that you need to repair some damage to your teeth or gums because your mouth isn’t as healthy as it should be. Whether preparing for a cosmetic dentistry procedure or just taking care of your health, scaling and planing can be an important procedure. 

What is a scaling and planing?

When plaque (that sticky film filled with bacteria) builds up on your teeth, it can get so bad that it begins to dig underneath the gum line. The gums get irritated and start to pull away, resulting in “pockets.” These pockets collect even more plaque and bacteria, which is very difficult to get out with just your everyday brushing. It can even be difficult for your dentist to remove during a typical cleaning. Eventually, it can cause serious damage, leading to gum disease and even tooth loss. In the worst case scenario, it can even lead to bone loss. 

“Scaling and planing” sounds quite unpleasant, but it is simply a deep cleaning below the gum line. The procedure consists of two parts. In the scaling step, your dentist will use hand instruments to thoroughly clean any plaque from underneath the gums. In the planing step, any rough parts of the roots will be smoothed out to prevent bacteria from adhering to it. After a scaling and planing, the gums won’t be inflamed and they will eventually reattach to the teeth. 

Will scaling and planing hurt?

Most patients report discomfort but not pain. A local anesthesia can be used to make you more comfortable. After the procedure your gums will be sore and tender, but without all of the plaque to irritate them, they will soon start to feel better. 

Scaling and planing can help you to have great oral health. If you need help taking care of your teeth and gums, call Dr. Samuel Jirik at the Cabot, Arkansas, office. Call (501) 843-9561 and make an appointment today!

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