Deep Teeth Cleaning Methods: Scaling and Root Planing

Why Deep Cleaning of Teeth Is Needed

Even though you might take care of your teeth by regular brushing, flossing techniques, still there is some amount of food debris remained, which is the most favorable condition for bacteria to reside and start the plaque formation.

This plaque initially is loose and adheres to the tooth surface that is open in the oral cavity, but if not removed with the help of brushing or cleansing techniques, it becomes calcified, harder to become dental calculus.

This can become severe and go down towards the base and root of the tooth, creating a gap named Periodontal pocket. All this leads to inflammation and irritation to the gums, commonly referred to as gingivitis, and later periodontitis involving many areas of soft tissue around the tooth. These conditions keep getting serious, and progressively cause bone loss below the tooth. Oral cancer occurrence is not uncommon in gum disease patients.

To prevent all these from occurring, the initial calculus that is present on the tooth surface above and below the gingiva is removed and the surface of the tooth is made clean and free from bacteria, plaque and calculus, by the means of professional deep teeth cleaning methods: Scaling and Root Planing.

Deep Teeth Cleaning Methods

Scaling is the basic but important phase of periodontal therapy, and involves removal of plaque, calculus, microbial flora, stains from the surfaces of crowns of the tooth, extending some part deeper below the gingival margin.

Root planing is an advanced periodontal therapy phase where the surfaces of the root are cleaned and any infected surface is removed, making the root free from micro-organisms. It smoothens the root surfaces, to prevent adherence of calculus onto it.

Scaling deep teeth cleaning is done in any of the two methods – Mechanical or chemical. Mechanical scaling includes the usage of hand or ultrasonic instruments that, with proper instrumentation helps in chipping off the calculus or tartar from the tooth surface. Chemical scaling includes usage of chemical liquids such as anti-tartar solutions which helps in attracting the tartar accumulations away from the tooth surface. It is not as effective as the mechanical cleaning method.

Root planing deep teeth cleaning requires some specialized instruments such as curettes and root scalers which help in smoothening the walls of the root by adapting onto it and running along it.

Frequency and Severity of Deep Teeth Cleaning Methods

The frequency of deep teeth cleaning depends on the health and condition of the gingiva and the severity of the gum disease. Usually people visit the dentist after they experience any pain or something similar, thats related to the gum disease. For smokers and poor oral hygiene patients, its recommended to get their teeth cleaned deeply at least once every 6 months.

For healthy children and adults who have regular oral hygiene habits of toothbrushing and flossing, getting their teeth cleaned once every 1-2 years is good enough. Its still better if you ask the dentist for the next visit.

Severity of the deep cleaning of teeth methods depend on the depth of pockets, root surface irregularities, degree of hardness of the calculus formed, and the patient co-operation. You can discuss with your dentist about any pain or fear about it, so that any additional measures are taken to prevent any causation of pain after deep cleaning cleaning.

After the deep cleaning of teeth methods are performed, usually chlorhexidine mouth wash, or pain killers are prescribed if needed. Scaling and root planing are simple and necessary procedures that can prevent you from going to an extent to get periodontal surgeries done ahead. Prevent the growth of bacteria and accumulation of tartar and calculus, maintain good oral hygiene, and regular visits to dentist for oral prophylaxis can prevent gum disease from occurring.

  • Bonifacio R. Andres

    Would like to know how much is the regular or average cost for a tooth deep cleaning? With anesthesia application. Not considering if is light or heavy deep cleaning and of course,with anesthesia.

  • Cynthia Johnson

    Can you help me? I went to my dentist yesterday to have a scaling and root planning procedure on my bottom right quadrant but she could not clean my teeth because they were sensitive-didn’t feel any pain or pressure, but felt an uncomfortable cold feeling that I could not tolerate. I had to tell her to stop. I need my teeth cleaned but I do not know what to do from here. Can you help me? Any answer will be appreciated. Thanks.