“Scaling and planing” is not a new exercise or dance craze – it is actually a very common procedure that your dentist may recommend for the good of your teeth and gums. Read on for some information about scaling and planing, and why your dentist may recommend this important procedure.
Why would I need scaling and planing?
In brief, scaling and planing is just a very deep cleaning below the gumline. You have probably already heard about the damage that plaque – that sticky film that is full of bacteria – can do when it builds up on your teeth. However, plaque can build up below the gums as well, and it can be very difficult to get rid of once it starts to accumulate. This makes the gums become inflamed and irritated, and they start to pull away from the teeth. The “pockets” that are formed when this happens collect even more plaque and bacteria, which can eventually lead to loss of teeth and gum disease.
If the build-up of plaque underneath the gum line gets too bad, it becomes impossible to remove at home with just your regular brushing, or even with your cleaning at the dentist’s office.
What is the scaling and planing procedure?
This procedure has two steps. The “scaling” involves cleaning beneath the gum line using ultrasonic or handheld instruments. “Planing” is done to smooth out the roots of the teeth. Smooth roots make it more difficult for plaque and bacteria to stick to them.
The gums begin to heal very quickly, as soon as the scaling and planing is done. With the inflammation reduced, the gums begin to reattach to the teeth.
“Scaling and planing” may sound like a strange new fad – or, now that you know what it is, it may sound just plain unpleasant. However, it is a simple but important procedure that helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you are concerned about the health of your teeth, don’t hesitate to get help. Contact Arlington Dental Aesthetics or South Riding Smiles today for an appointment! Call the Arlington office at (703) 214-3183 or the South Riding office at (703) 214-3185.