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Dental Scaling: Procedure, Benefits, and What to Expect

Dental Scaling: Procedure, Benefits, and What to Expect

by Ghania Ahmad · January 18, 2021

You might have heard that scaling increases the sensitivity of your teeth and weakens them, have you?

However, the fact is it helps the gums attaching back to your teeth. As a result, your oral cavity becomes more healthy, free of any tartar and other deposits.

Therefore, the whole process of scaling simply aids in removing bad support which can otherwise leave a drastic impact.

This is your complete guide for 2021 explaining all the details about dental scaling starting from explaining what it is, the procedure, its benefits and much more.

So, let’s dive right into it!


What is Dental Scaling?

Scaling is a routine dental procedure which involves cleaning and scrapping away the deposits of plaque and tartar on your teeth.

Basically, plaque is a sticky film which tends to develop on your teeth and generally contains millions of bacteria. This may lead to tooth decay and other gum diseases.

Moreover, when it comes to tartar, it is a hardened plaque which may develop if you’ll leave the plaque untreated.

dental scaling

However, if your gums are healthy, the tissue would fit tightly around your teeth and will help keeping the plaque out.

But, in case the gum disease start to form, it will loosen the teeth.

Healthy gums usually attach to your tooth 1 to 3 millimeters below your gumline.

With the gum disease, there are chances that you begin to develop pockets that are relatively deeper.

Eventually, this may start to fill with plaque, worsen the problems and can cause related symptoms such as, bleeding gums and bad breath.

Moreover, if you have pockets that are deeper than 4 millimeters, your dentist is likely to recommend dental scaling.

The sole purpose is removing the plaque under the gum line which would eventually lead to healthier gums.

The gum diseases are also referred to as periodontal diseases.

What is Periodontal Disease?

The other name being periodontitis, it is a severe inflammatory disease.

It directly leaves an impact on your gums, bones as well as the surrounding tissues of your oral cavity.

Accumulation of dental plaque and calculus marks the onset of periodontal disease.

Tooth brushing is important two times a day and book regular appointments with your dentist for routine cleanings.

If you don’t brush twice a day, the plaque keeps building on and between your teeth.

Moreover, it eventually hardens to form tartar and bacteria continues to spread over the gums.

The whole process lead to infection in gum pockets, early gum disease, also called gingivitis and it further leads to periodontitis.

As a result, gums may start to separate from your teeth and deep spaces may form. These gaps and spaces are also known as periodontal pockets.

Typically, the tartar accumulates under or between the gums, on the base or on the roots of your teeth.

If you get gum disease then you may have to go for deep cleaning or a procedure called scaling and root planing instead of routine dental cleaning.

Signs of Periodontal Disease

The signs of periodontal disease are from mild to extreme and generally include:

  • Inflammation around and below your gums
  • Swollen gums with redness
  • bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
  • Loose gums or teeth that pull away from your teeth
  • Constant bad breath
  • Pus in gums and teeth
  • Sudden misalignment in teeth
  • Incorrect bite
  • Shift in permanent teeth

Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Poor habits of brushing and flossing
  • Chewing tobacco or smoking
  • Poor eating habits like high consumption of sugary foods
  • Certain medications (specifically for cardiovascular diseases, heart diseases, blood pressure, seizures or other bacterial pneumonia)
  • Having a family history
  • Crooked teeth that makes it easier for the plaque to accumulate
  • Stress for longer period of time can cause inflammation


Dental Scaling Procedure

The main purpose of the procedure is to remove the plaque, the tartar that has been hardened (calculus) and the stubborn stains from the teeth.

Oftentimes, the insurance plans cover the cost of the procedure. To know more about the services we offer at Al Qudrah, don’t forget to check our service page Dental Scaling.

dental scaling procedure

The steps involved in the procedure of dental scaling involve:

1. Local Anesthesia

In order to control the pain or chances of hemorrhage, we administer local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia that we use while performing invasive procedures of minor level.

Firstly, your dentist will inject the drug into your mouth that would numb the area.

Then, there would be the loss of sensation on temporary basis after about five minutes.

Moreover, you will remain conscious during the whole procedure but you won’t be feeling any pain.

However, it’s just that tenderness at the site of injection once the treatment begins and after the effect of anesthesia remain no longer.

2. Scaling

The second step after anesthesia is to perform subgingival scaling.

In this step, your general dentist or periodontist and the dental hygienist removes the calculus formed under the gums, in between the gums, and on the base of your teeth crowns.

The devices normally used for scaling include an ultrasonic instrument like Calvitron or it can be done manually.

Both techniques are meant to loosen the plaque and removing the tarter that has been hardened.

Afterwards, your dentist would place a scaler in the pocket with the help of bevel.

Then the surfaces of your teeth or root would be cleaned thoroughly.

3. Root Planing

The four major component of teeth include:

  • Dentin
  • Enamel
  • Dental pulp
  • Cementum

As periodontitis reaches further stages, it leads to damage in dentin, cementum or sometimes both.

In order to make the rough surfaces smooth or to remove any bacteria under gingiva, root planing is performed.

The root planing aims at removing cementum. Cementum is a calcified film which covers the root of tooth.

The procedure may include removing the superficial layer of dentin (second layer of teeth) which develops beneath your enamel.

4. Post Surgery

Once the procedure is complete, your dentist would flush the treated area in order to remove the bacteria that may still be present.

Afterwards, they would be applying pressure for the purpose of ensuring the growth of gum tissue in a proper way.

You might experience minor pain after the procedure is over.

However, eventually you will be having healthy gums as well as the tissue having a firm shape.

Afterwards, the other changes you would also experience for a short duration include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Inflammation around the gums
  • Irritation in gums
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Allergic reaction that may result from the materials used during the procedure


Benefits of Dental Scaling

There are countless benefits of scaling one being the ultimate treatment for chronic periodontal disease.

As per a review, dental scaling improves the pocket gap between your teeth as well as gums by .5 mm on average.

Let’s find more about this in the next section!

scaling benefits

The other advantages include:

  • Reduction in the pocket gaps
  • Healthier gums
  • No more bleeding gums
  • Better oral health
  • Saving gum’s health at an early stage saves money too
  • Restores your smile
  • Helps you regaining the confidence to talk and smile
  • Reduced risk of tooth, tissue or bone loss


Dental Scaling Risks

The risks of the scaling procedure are almost none.

However, if your dental expert feels that there is any need, he would prescribe you any special mouthwash or an antibiotic to use.


When to Ask Your Dentist?

In case, you experience any of the following symptoms after the scaling procedure, you should consult your dentist.

  • if the pain worsens
  • the area is not healing as per the expectation
  • if you are having fever
  • your gums remain inflamed

Moreover, feeling sensitivity and pain for some time after the procedure ends is absolutely normal.

Your gums might also remain tender for some time.

Any side effects that might show must disappear within a few days or few weeks.

However, if that’s not the case you need to consult your dentist.


What to Expect After Dental Scaling?

Most probably, it would take one or more than one visits to your dentist.

Your dentist would recommend you to visit again for follow-up in order to make sure that the procedure has shown results.

It is also to make sure that there are no complications such as, inflammation or infection.

what to expect scaling

Once the procedure is over, you should continue with the normal oral care.

Moreover, if the pockets don’t shrink, your dentist would recommend you to come again for another procedure.

The normal oral care generally includes brushing your teeth twice a day as well as flossing on a regular basis.

Furthermore, eating a healthy and balanced diet and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings can also prevent from developing the condition again.

In fact, your dentist would probably place you on a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule.

He may also recommend you to return for regular sessions for the purpose of cleaning every 3 to 4 months. Standard cleanings will be scheduled for every 6 months.


Taking good care of your oral hygiene and brushing twice a day becomes more effective when combined with the professional help.

It is sometimes impossible for us to reach certain tooth surfaces like behind the front teeth or back of the teeth.

It gives bacteria a chance to invade these areas and form a thick layer of plaque which can’t be removed by a simple toothbrush.

If this plaque stays in those areas for longer period of time, it will eventually lead towards gum diseases which increases the risk of tooth loss.

Gum disease at later stages are extremely difficult to reverse.

Therefore, a good oral routine along with regular consultation with your periodontist can help preventing the plaque from building up.

Moreover, it will keep your gums healthy lifelong.

So, this was pretty much all about Dental Scaling.

If you want to add something or have any queries, kindly leave your comments in the section below.

To avail our services of Dental Scaling, call at our official number to book an appointment.

Moreover, we also offer services like, Invisalign, Dental Surgery and Extraction, as well as Cosmetic Dentistry.

If you are looking for the finest treatment options, don’t forget to check them out.

Ghania Ahmad

I am a Psychology graduate and I run a small home-based setup for children on spectrum. I love making content. In the past, I've worked as a Marketing Communications Manager at Acme Business services. Prior to this, I have also served IGI Life Vitality as a Senior Executive Consultant.

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