Scaling and root planing, commonly called a deep cleaning, is a thorough dental cleaning of tooth root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) from around teeth and periodontal pockets in the gums, and to smooth the teeth roots to remove bacterial toxins.
Does it hurt?
Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface irregularity, the dentist may numb the area so that the process is comfortable. Don’t hesitate to discuss with your dentist or hygienist how to best manage any discomfort.
What can you expect after scaling and root planing?
- Soreness afterwards since it’s usually in a deeper region under the gums.
- The teeth themselves can become a bit more sensitive to temperature, and bleeding might occur for a little while.
- Brushing and flossing can be delayed or done more gently to avoid aggravating any bruised or tender gum areas.
- Your dentist or hygienist may recommend salt water or chlorhexidine rinses.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen work very well to alleviate discomfort, but stronger medications can be given should you need them.