What is a Dental Scaling


Sometimes, when you’re at your Santa Clarita dentist, they might suggest a dental scaling. They might talk about it, and they might say it’s to help with plaque buildup, but what is it really? Well, you’re about to find out, so that you can make sure that you plan for everything that’s about to come about.

Scaling is a practice for those that have gum disease. Essentially, this is a cleaning that goes below the gum line and gets rid of the plaque. The process of this is often called a deep cleaning, and you might get told that you need this from your Santa Clarita dentist. This is often deeper than a typical cleaning.

Now, it’s necessary when there is excessive plaque buildup. Everyone has it at some point, and often, this will cover your teeth. For many, when they eat, tiny various particles and acids get stuck to the teeth, creating plaque. The bacteria that live on this can cause gum disease and tooth decay. By brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist regularly, you’ll be able to remove this and prevent more issues. However, if you have healthy gums, this will keep the plaque out. If the gum disease begins to form, the tissue will grow looser. Various healthy gums will attach from 1-3 mm below the gum line. However, with gum disease, you’ll have deeper pockets, filling with plaque and worsening your problems and even causing bad breath. If the pockets are more than 4 mm, the dentist will probably tell you that you will need a dental scaling to treat this.


Now dental scaling involves the removal of plaque from the tooth’s surface below the gum line. Your dentist might use a handheld instrument for this, and they will scrap it using a dental scaler and a curette. The dentist tends to insert this beneath the gum line that the toothbrush can’t reach. Sometimes though, the dentist might choose an ultrasonic instrument. This is essentially a vibrating metal tip that works with a water spray. The tip will get the tartar away while the water will flush it out. Typically, once that’s done, there is something called a root planning. This will reach deeper to get to the root. This isn’t done in the same way as a scaling, but instead, they will smooth the surface of the gums so that they can reattach.

Now, this can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re sensitive. The dentist might give you a local anesthetic to numb this, and if you need something more, you should talk to your Santa Clarita dentist about this. Comfort is something you’ll want in this, since it’s not that fun. You can speak to your dentist about other ways to help with desensitizing if you’re worried about pain or discomfort.

Now scaling can take many visits, with each addressing one part of the mouth. Sometimes, they will address them in quadrants, with each one being done in two halves. If you’re nervous, you can ask for a chance to have it done in one visit. This is often not recommended by some dentists, and it isn’t an option, and you might have to do it all at once. However, if it’s only moderate gum disease, they might be able to have you sit it in parts, not doing it all at once

After that, you might feel extremely sore and sensitive. Some might feel swelling and bleeding. You might get a desensitizing toothpaste and a prescription mouthwash as well to help with keeping the gums clean. Ideally, you should make sure that you do use proper brushing and flossing in order to stop the plaque from building up, along with seeing your dentist as soon as possible in order to address any further issues.


A dental scaling isn’t fun, but you should get this if you do have gum disease. By seeing your dentist and getting the scaling from them, you’ll be able to preserve your teeth, allowing them to stick around for a long time, and it will help to refresh them. It does make them nice and clean, and often, it’s a great process to help make your smile even better.

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