What is Dental Scaling?

Team Periodontics

If you’ve been told you need scaling by your dentist, you may be wondering exactly what the process entails, and why it’s been recommended for you.

Gum disease is hardly an uncommon condition, but it can cause serious oral health conditions. As an infection that begins in the soft tissue around your teeth, it can lead to many other concerning issues for dental health, including bone loss.

The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can very likely be dealt with through dental cleaning and improved dental care at home. But, if gum disease is allowed to advance to periodontitis, dental scaling is often recommended and necessary.

What Does Scaling Mean?

Dental scaling is a non-surgical treatment that cleans the periodontal pockets that can occur between your teeth and gums. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can all accumulate here.

By cleaning these pockets and smoothing root surfaces, you’ll have a healthier mouth - which will allow your gums to heal. The process is important to restore a healthy mouth and help to prevent other oral health issues.

How Do You Know You Need Dental Scaling Treatment? 

Your dentist may recommend this type of treatment after a check-up and X-rays that reveal gum infection as well as the existence of any early-stage bone loss.  

But even before X-rays and other diagnostic techniques are performed by your dentist, you may already recognize the fact that you need treatment for gum disease due to signs such as: 

  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Tender, red, or puffy/swollen gums
  • Gumline recession
  • Teeth feeling loose or as if shifting 
  • Pus appears between your teeth and gums 
  • Periodontal pockets are deeper than 3mm 

How Long Does Scaling Take?

Scaling is usually completed in 1-2 visits by your dentist or dental hygienist. It really depends on how severe your gum disease may be as to how long the process can take. 

Often, your dentist will treat two quarters of your mouth at each visit, so that your dental team can thoroughly and effectively remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gum line, as well as cleaning out any periodontal pockets. The exact nature and length of time of any scaling process depends on each individual patient. 

How Do You Know Scaling Works?

After you have received scaling treatment, your dentist will schedule a follow up. That way, the results of the process can be fully evaluated. Your dental team may recommend routine regular periodontal visits to prevent the possibility of future flare-ups, or keep gum disease from progressing further. Your dentist may also prescribe the use of an antibiotic medication to prevent progression of gum disease as well.  

Ready to Learn More about Non-surgical Gum Disease Treatment?

Scaling is an effective and non-invasive way to help alleviate and prevent gum disease progression. If you’re ready to find out more about scaling to treat gum disease, or to schedule an appointment, reach out to us at Life Dental Specialties today. We’re ready to help.