All About Dental Scales

Estimated read time 3 min read

Dental scales are routinely carried out to help patients suffering from excessive buildup of plaque and gum disease. If standard cleaning deals with the tooth surface, the scaling process goes much deeper. If you have been recommended by your dentist to undergo root planing and dental scaling, first, you should know what the process is all about so you can prepare for what lies ahead. 

Dental scaling is a common procedure suggested

H2: What is Dental Scaling?

Dental scaling is a common procedure suggested for patients who have gum disease. It is a form of dental cleaning that goes under the gumline to get rid of plaque buildup. The root planing and scaling process of teeth is usually called deep cleaning. The treatment goes way beyond the usual general cleaning you get during your annual dental visit and regular checkup. 

H2: When Do You Need Dental Scales?

All people experience some kind of plaque buildup at one point. The saliva, proteins, and bacteria present in your mouth form the thin layer covering your teeth all the time. 

Every time you eat, small particles, sugars, and acids from food get stuck to this film that can then create a buildup on your teeth that is called plaque. This plaque becomes the breeding ground of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing, brushing, and regular dental cleanings can get rid of this plaque and ward off more serious issues over time. 

If your gums are healthy enough, the tissue will have a tight fit around your tooth and keep out the plaque. But this tissue will become loose if gum disease starts to form. Healthy gums are attached to the teeth at one to three millimeters under the gumline. If you are suffering from gum disease, you will soon develop deeper pockets. Plaque can fill up these pockets, making your problems worse and resulting in symptoms such as bad breath. 

For pockets that are 4 millimeters or even more, dentists will probably suggest dental scales to get rid of the plaque below the gumline and address the gum disease accordingly. 

H2: What Does Dental Scaling Feel Like?

You might experience some level of discomfort during dental scaling, especially if you happen to have sensitive gums. Dentists can administer a local anesthetic to help numb the gum tissue and ensure that the procedure feels more comfortable for the patient. You might want to talk to your oral care provider regarding the choices available to desensitize the area if you are worried about discomfort and pain throughout the process. 

Dental scales may also require a few visits, with each one dealing with a different part of your mouth. Some dentists divide the mouth into four quadrants, and some go about with the scaling process in two halves. In case you feel a bit nervous regarding the process, you can ask if your dentist can schedule the process for just one visit. Even though it is not always an option, it may be possible if you are willing to endure a lengthy procedure and if your gum disease is only a moderate case. 

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