Scaling Under Local Anaesthesia


What is the difference between Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)?

Root Planing is a particular type of treatment that goes deeper below the gum line to remove contaminated debris, pus, and bacteria. This treatment requires local anaesthesia to numb the area, so you will not feel any pain during the treatment.

During a regular cleaning, the exposed part of the tooth (above the gumline) is scaled. A regular cleaning (prophylaxis) involves scaling and polishing procedures that remove plaque, tartar (calculus), and stains from the exposed areas of teeth. The scaling process scrapes away bacterial plaque and tartar from the tooth.

A combination of scaling and root planing is employed to treat early-stage periodontal (gum) disease in deep cleaning. While scaling only removes dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, root planing smoothes the root surfaces and removes infected tooth structure.

This way, the gum can re-attach firmly to the spotlessly clean root surface. Otherwise, further development of periodontal disease will result in bone loss, root decay, and eventually tooth loss.

Suppose you have gum disease or gum pocketing. In that case, the gum pockets around the teeth will deepen, thereby allowing tartar deposits to form under the gumline.

Although deep cleaning effectively removes plaque buildup, it does not eliminate all the bacteria that cause gum disease. When necessary, treatment may include LASER-assisted Gum Treatment to effectively disinfect the pockets between the gum and the tooth root to remove bacteria.

What are the Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing?

  • It controls the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Helps gums or pocket wall re-attach firmly to the spotlessly clean root surface to help prevent tooth loss
  • Prevents further bleeding of the gums
  • Reduces gum swelling and discomfort
  • Decreases tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
  • Prevent bone loss due to gum disease

Will there be any discomfort?

Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface irregularity, our dentists may administer anaesthesia to numb the area to have a comfortable treatment. The only sensation felt after the anaesthesia might be the ‘physical scraping’ as the site is cleaned and smoothened.

How do you know if you need this treatment?

These are the few symptoms indicating that you may need scaling and root planing:

  1. Bleeding Gums – When your gum bleeds during brushing or flossing, this is a sign that there is a presence of bacteria hiding below the gum line on a plaque deposit.
  2. Deep Pockets – During your routine checkup, your dentist or hygienist will check the depth of your gum tissue around your teeth. Pockets deeper than 4mm, if left untreated, can result in root damage and tooth loss.   
  3. Inflamed Tissue – Aside from bleeding, redness and swelling around the teeth can be an early indication of gingivitis. There may also indicate bacterial infection and irritation of the gum tissue. 
  4. Hidden Bone Loss – To check on the health of jawbones and teeth roots. An X-Ray can reveal bone loss or detachment between roots and the jaw. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, a root planing procedure is recommended.

There could be slight discomfort with root planing, just like any of the other dental procedures. However, we will try our best to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Contact us today, and we are more than happy to help you!


I’m ready for a brighter smile!