What is Scaling and Root planing in Dentistry?

Feb 6, 2023 | Gum Disease

Scaling and root planing are two common dental treatments that provide deep cleaning of teeth and gums, providing patients with a healthier mouth. This article will explain what scaling and root planing are, how they work, the benefits of these procedures, and any potential risks associated with them.

Having healthy teeth and gums is essential to overall good health. However, without regular brushing and flossing along with regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings, plaque can build up on your teeth leading to tooth decay or gum disease. To help keep oral hygiene at its best, dentists may recommend scaling and root planing treatments.

What are Scaling and Root planing?

Scaling and root planing are two dental treatments that involve removing plaque buildup from teeth and gums. Scaling involves the use of special instruments to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surface of the teeth. Root planing follows scaling by smoothing out any irregularities on the root surfaces in order to prevent further accumulation of plaque and bacteria. This procedure is typically done with local anesthesia to help minimize any discomfort during treatment.

Benefits of What is Scaling and Root planing in Dentistry?

The benefits of scaling and root planing include improved periodontal health, decreased risk for periodontal disease progression, reduced inflammation in periodontal pockets, prevention or reduction of periodontal pocket depth, and prevention of periodontal bone loss. Additionally, this procedure can help improve the appearance of your teeth and gums by removing surface stains.

Potential Risks

As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks associated with scaling and root planing. These include bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, infection in periodontal pockets, or pain after the local anesthesia wears off. It is essential to talk to a periodontist about these risks before proceeding with treatment so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this procedure is right for you.


Scaling and root planing are two common treatments performed by dentists to help remove plaque from teeth and gums and restore periodontal health. These procedures can help reduce the risk of periodontal disease progression and prevent periodontal bone loss while improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. However, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with these treatments before proceeding so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not they are right for you.


1. Who should have scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing are typically recommended for patients who have periodontal disease that has progressed beyond a simple cleaning, such as those with periodontal pockets deeper than four millimeters or bone loss around teeth. It may also be recommended for individuals with significant plaque buildup or surface stains.

2. What is the recovery period like?

Most patients don’t experience any significant discomfort after scaling and root planing, but it is important to follow post-treatment instructions from your periodontist to ensure a successful recovery period. This may include taking antibiotics and pain medication as instructed, avoiding certain foods until healing is complete, and making regular follow-up visits to check on periodontal health.

3. Is scaling and root planing covered by insurance?

Most dental insurance plans provide coverage for scaling and root planing as long as they are necessary for periodontal reasons. Patients should contact their insurance provider directly to find out what types of services are included in

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