Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing is a non-surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia preferable lidocaine for the removal of plaque and dental calculus that can’t be removed by normal brushing.


PlaqueIt is soft dark greying substance that builds up over time to the tooth surfaces. The main reason behind plaque formation is poor dental hygiene and smoking.

An untreated plaque when hardens is converted to a severe form called calculus. It is also called tartar.

Scaling and Root Planing

It is usually done with ultrasonic scalers rather and hand instruments. These instruments Scaling and Root Planinghave dull tip and curvature comes in line with the tooth structure and water irrigation system prevents the scalers from becoming hot.
In modern dentistry, preferably ultrasonic scalers are used due to their fast performance efficiency and also the time required is very less as compared to manual instruments.
Generally Scaling and root planing is a single sitting procedure but depending upon the content of plaque and calculus, it may require multiple visits.

Who performs scaling and root planing

It is usually done by dental hygienists under the guidance of periodontists but if severe, the whole case can be taken up by periodontists.

Precautions after scaling and root planing

  • As the procedure is done under local anesthesia, there might be numbness over the face. So, avoid chewing on hard foods.
  • Apply ice pack after the procedure to prevent swelling.
  • Do antiseptic mouth rinses at least thrice daily.
  • Don’t panic if you notice bleeding as this is normal after scaling and root planing and it subsided after a week or so.
  • Do you notice rocking of tooth? If yes, than there is no need to worry because gums get loose after the procedure. So, maintain a good oral hygiene and everything will come to normal in a week.
  • Do consult a dentist if the discomfort is for more than a week.

This information has been compiled for your benefit by Dr. Dhiraj Sharma, DDS, so that you can plan your dental health with us at American Dental Associates, Ltd.

Good teeth…Be thankful to dentist…