Root planing and scaling are two dental procedures that share similarities. Both remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of teeth to prevent future decay and gingivitis. They also have some differences, however. Scaling removes plaque and tartar using sharp instruments, while a root planer smoothes the roots of your teeth to make them easier to clean in the future. These different oral hygiene methods serve different purposes, but both are important for maintaining healthy teeth. Scaling is more invasive than root planing, as it requires cutting away excess tooth material to expose the roots. Root planing only needs to remove surface stains and smooth rough spots—there’s no need to cut anything away. That said, both procedures can be performed by dentists or hygienists at the same practice.
What’s The Difference Between Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing are both ways to remove plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent future decay. However, scaling is a more invasive procedure that removes materials from the teeth itself. Root planing uses sharp blades to smooth the roots of the teeth so that it’s easier for the gums to reach them. This makes scaling and root planing two different procedures with two different purposes. Root planing uses rotating blades to remove plaque and tartar from the root surface. This can be done either by hand or with an electric tool. Scaling, on the other hand, uses small, sharp blades to cut away plaque and tartar from the tooth surface. These blades can remove large chunks of material at once, making scaling a more invasive procedure.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing Narrative
Both scaling and root planing narrative can prevent future decay and gingivitis if they’re performed regularly. They can also be used to treat existing dental problems, such as gingivitis, that make it difficult to clean teeth between visits.
Preventing future decay – Scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar, which can lead to both short-term and long-term issues if left untreated. These materials can lead to decay if not removed from the teeth, especially if they remain in contact with the teeth for a long period of time.
Treating gingivitis – Scaling and root planing are two of the most common ways to treat gingivitis. This condition can lead to an increase in plaque around the gums and make it difficult to clean the teeth.
Preventing periodontal disease – This is one of the primary reasons to use scaling and root planing. Both procedures can prevent and even reverse the progression of periodontal disease.
What Is Scaling?
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth. This is usually done with a hand scaler or a dental scaler, which is a small hand tool with a small, rotating blade. The scaler is used to scrape away plaque, tartar, and any other buildup from your teeth. Scaling is most often performed on teeth that have high levels of tartar buildup. This includes the teeth at the back of the mouth, which are difficult to clean properly and are more likely to have tartar buildup. The lower teeth are also more likely to have plaque or tartar buildup due to their proximity to the gums. Scaling can be done on any tooth type. However, the scaler may be more difficult to use on teeth with large spaces between them since there isn’t much surface area for the scaler to grab onto. It’s also more difficult to scale molars due to their size.
What Is Root Planing?
Root planing is a type of periodontal therapy that smoothes the surface of roots and removes stains. It’s most often performed using an electric planer, but can also be done by hand. Root planing is done to improve the cleaning of teeth by making the root surfaces slimmer and smoother. This allows the gum line to sit closer to the teeth, making it easier to clean between teeth. Root planing is most often used on teeth with a history of periodontal disease. This can be caused by a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the gum tissue and the eventual loss of the teeth. The infection starts with plaque buildup on the teeth, which is difficult to remove by brushing alone. Root planing is a way to treat the disease in addition to treating the plaque buildup. The procedure uses rotating blades to remove stains and smooth the root surface.
Limitations of Scaling and Root Planing
Both scaling and root planing narrative are effective at removing plaque and tartar from the teeth. This can be a good thing if the procedures are done often. The problem is that they can cause excessive damage to the gums if they’re done too aggressively. Scaling has the potential to damage the gums if it’s done too often. It can also cause the roots of teeth to recede, which can result in teeth that don’t sit as high above the gum line. Root planing can cause enough damage to the gums to result in a serious infection if it’s done too aggressively.
How To Choose Between Scaling And Root Planing?
There are a few things to consider when deciding between scaling and root planing.
The type of dental problem – The dental problem will dictate which procedure is best to treat it. Root planing is used more often to treat periodontal disease, while scaling is more likely to be used to treat dental plaque.
The tooth type – Scaling is more difficult to perform on teeth with large spaces between them. This is because the scaler doesn’t have much to grab onto.
The desired outcome – Both procedures have benefits, but it’s important to consider what you want the outcome to be. Scaling is often used as a preventative measure, while root planing is used when there’s already a dental problem.
These are two dental procedures that share many similarities. They both remove plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent future decay and gingivitis. They also have some differences, however, as scaling removes plaque and tartar using sharp instruments, while a root planer smoothes the roots of teeth to make them easier to clean. Both procedures are important for maintaining healthy teeth and can be used to treat existing dental problems. That said, both procedures can be performed by dentists or hygienists at the same practice.
1-Scaling and Root Planing Efficacy in Multirooted Teeth
First published: 01 July 1989
2-Anxiety, pain and discomfort associated with dental treatment
Received 24 September 1992, Available online 29 May 2002.