Dental Scaling For Gum Disease Treatment

If you have gum disease, then the dentist may want to use dental scaling as the chosen form of treatment. By learning what dental scaling is and how it works, you will have a better understanding of how it can help treat your gum disease. You'll also know what to expect so you feel more confident going in for the treatment.

What is dental scaling?

Dental scaling is done to remove plaque, tartar and biofilm from the surface of your teeth and gums. Removing this buildup can successfully treat gum disease by taking away the root cause of it. Be prepared for it to take more than one session to treat gum disease. The exact number of treatments you will need depends on the severity of the condition.

There are two methods that can be used for scaling, and your dentist may choose to use just one of these methods, or they may use both.

One method involves the use of handheld dental tools to manually scale any buildup off your teeth and gums. The dentist can't see much of the buildup on your teeth, so they will use the instruments to feel around for the buildup and then to remove it.

What tools are used during the process?

The handheld tool used for the process is called a dental scaler or curette. This tool has a shape to it that's similar to that of a pencil so the dentist can hold it comfortably. On each end of the scaler, there are hook-like, sharp points. The curved angle helps the dentist reach more areas. The dentist will be in total control of the movement of the tool.

An ultrasonic scaler is shaped similar to a handheld one, except on one end there will be a cord attached instead of a second scaling tip. The cord will lead to a small case with a motor in it that causes the tip of the scaler to vibrate. The vibrating tip will remove the plaque and tartar in the same way the handheld tool will, but it will do it without as much prompting from the dentist. There is also a small water tank so the dentist can use the water to wash away the chippings and keep the tip cool. The dentist can control the speed of the vibration as well.  

Does dental scaling hurt?

Dental scaling may not hurt at all if you are in the very beginning stages of gum disease. However, if the condition has come to the point where your gums are sensitive, then it can be fairly painful. The dentist can administer a local anesthetic to help relieve the pain and irritation.

If you have gum disease and are looking at going in for dental scaling, you may not feel as anxious now that you know more about the procedure. Contact a dentist like Cassity, Jessica DDS to learn more.