You probably know, at least generally speaking what a cavity is, and you’ve probably heard of root canals. But dental scaling may be something you’re totally unfamiliar with, but it’s a vital non-surgical process that can help save teeth. Read on to find out more.
What Does Dental Scaling Do?
Dental scaling can be used to help patients with excessive build-up of plaque and tartar, which can cause severe gum disease. Unlike the basic cleaning you get at your twice-yearly check-ups, which only cleans the surfaces of the teeth, dental scaling reaches below the gumline to give a truly deep clean.
When plaque and tartar build up, they cause gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause your gums to recede or loosen, allowing plaque and tartar to get below your gumline and fill the spaces in your teeth. In addition to causing symptoms like bad breath, this can lead to severe tooth decay.
What Happens During a Dental Scaling Procedure?
Dental scaling can be done manually with special instruments or with ultrasonic instruments that help break up the plaque and use water to flush out the pockets between your gums and teeth. Usually, patients receive a local anesthetic to lessen discomfort. Dental scaling can be divided into several visits depending on the severity of the plaque/tartar build-up and gum disease.
What Happens After a Dental Scaling Procedure?
There can sometimes be bleeding, sensitivity and discomfort after a dental scaling procedure as your gums heal and your teeth recover. Your dentist may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste as well as a special mouthwash to help keep your gums clean while they heal. You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are healing properly.