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Root Planing and Scaling for Gum Disease

Treatment Overview

Root planing and scaling is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. Root planing and scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. Your dentist may need to use a local anesthetic to numb (freeze) your gums and the roots of your teeth.

Some dentists and dental hygienists will use an ultrasonic tool for the planing and scaling.

What To Expect

If anesthesia is used, your lips and gums may remain numb (frozen) for a few hours. Planing and scaling usually causes little or no discomfort.

Why It Is Done

Root planing and scaling is done when gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits (tartar) on them.

How Well It Works

If you maintain good dental care after the procedure, the progression of gum disease should slow down. And your gums should heal and become firm and pink again. A frequent dental follow up is recommended.

Risks

Be sure to follow the instructions you were given before and after your procedure. Follow up is important for a quick recovery with few or no problems.

Credits

Adapted with permission from copyrighted materials from Healthwise, Incorporated (Healthwise). This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty and is not responsible or liable for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.