When your dentist scales your teeth, you are closer to a beautiful and healthy smile. By regularly scaling your teeth, you remove the tartar and plaque buildup. After the dentist polishes the teeth and removes the stains, you feel an extra boost of confidence in how you present yourself. When you experience severe gum disease, your dentist will need to implement a deeper cleaning method called scaling and root planing. The method helps prevent periodontal diseases. For a successful dental procedure, you want to work with an experienced and well-trained dentist.

At The Whittier Dentist, we offer dental care, including teeth scaling and root planing to patients looking to maintain healthy gums and enhance their beautiful smiles in Los Angeles, CA. We start by examining the extent of your dental problem, analyzing whether you are the right candidate for the procedure, and helping you know the benefits.

What is Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?

Teeth scaling is the dental procedure of removing the tartar and plaque below your gum line. Sometimes the process is known as a dental cleaning. Alternatively, root planing involves smoothing your tooth roots after the scaling process. When you visit your dentist during the dental appointment, they use dental tools to scrape and clean the surface of your teeth to remove the tartar and the built-up plaque. Dental scaling counters the spread of periodontal diseases.

One of the main consequences of periodontal diseases is that they may cause the teeth to separate from the gum. The separation creates a space for tartar, bacteria, and plaque between your gum and the teeth. The scaling and planing procedure is essential as it helps remove the build-up of tartar and plaque.

When You Should Consider Having Tooth Scaling and Planing

Before you undergo the procedure, you want to understand whether you are the right candidate. Scaling involves removing tartar and plaque. Therefore, you need scaling to remove the tartar and plaque build-up between your teeth and gums if you have periodontal disease. Visit your dentists to help you learn more about tooth scaling and planing procedures. If you experience the following periodontal disease symptoms, you are the right candidate for tooth scaling and planing:

  • Bad breath even after you brush your teeth.
  • Swollen and red gums.
  • Gum bleeding.
  • Inflammation around or below your gums.
  • Loss of gums or teeth that pull away from the teeth.
  • Sudden teeth misalignment.
  • Pus between your gums and the teeth.

The Cost of Tooth Scaling and Root Planing

Root Scaling and planing remove hardened tartar, stains, and plaque from the teeth. Usually, the dental procedure is separated into two main appointments. During the first dental appointment, the dentist cleans the lower and upper quadrants on the sides of the mouth. During the second appointment, the dentist cleans the other two quadrants. Remember, the dentist you choose to work with will highly determine the success of your dental procedure. The following are the steps for tooth scaling and planing:

  1. Administration of a Local Anesthesia

The dental expert uses local anesthesia during the procedure. The drug helps control pain and prevent hemorrhaging. During a minor procedure, many surgeons use local anesthesia. The dental expert injects the drug into your mouth and numbs the surface being treated. You will feel a temporary loss of sensation after a few minutes. During the dental procedure, you will remain conscious and awake; however, you will not experience the pain. You might experience tenderness at the injection surface during and after the dental procedure.

  1. Subgingival Scaling

During this step, the periodontist, dental hygienist, or the dentist removes the calculus and plaque:

  • Between the gums.
  • Beneath the gums.
  • Around the tooth root.
  • On the base of the teeth crown.

The dental expert performs the scaling manually or uses an ultrasound tool like a Calvitron. Both techniques are effective at removing the hardened tartar and the plaque. The expert scraps and cleans the teeth in a circular, horizontal, or vertical motion. If you experience any discomfort during the procedure, let your dentist know.

  1. Root Planing

Cementum, dental pulp, enamel, and dentin are the main components of a tooth. As periodontal diseases persist, the disease will damage the dentin, the cementum, or both. Root planing involves smoothing the rough site and removing the subgingival bacteria. As the dentist carries out the tooth planing, they clean deep below the gum to remove tartar and plaque built upon the roots of the affected teeth. The dental procedure may also involve removing the superficial layer of your dentin, the second layer after the enamel.


After the dental procedure, the dental expert will flush the surface to remove the remaining bacteria. Again, the dentist will apply pressure to make sure the tissues grow properly. During this step, you will more likely experience discomfort.

What to Experience After the Dental Procedure?

If the dentist had applied local anesthesia during the procedure, you might start experiencing the pain once the medicine wears off. The dentist will more likely prescribe pain medication to help prevent the infection. Again, the dentist may order an oral aid to help prevent the pain. You will experience pain and tooth sensitivity for a couple of days. Your gum may bleed, swell or tender.

Many people receive the good news that their gum is firm during the follow-up appointment. Another positive news is the bleeding stopped, and the pockets around your gums are small. If everything is good, you will not require further medication. You need to set more dental visits. However, when your pockets become deeper, you require additional treatment. Advanced conditions will require surgery. Do not assume everything is right after the dental procedure; visit your dentist to check on how your recovery process is.

How Much Do Tooth Planing and Scaling Cost?

The cost of tooth scaling and planing will vary based on several factors. The factors may include:

  • The severity of your condition.
  • Your residential location.
  • Your insurance coverage.

The procedure is not just normal cleaning. Expect much from your dentist. The good news is that undergoing the procedure is cheaper than the consequences of gum diseases.

Routine dental cleaning will cost around $100. For a deep dental cleaning like tooth scaling, the dentist will charge you $750 and $1200. Another deep dental cleaning may require you to undergo dental surgery, increasing the cost of treatment.

The diagnosis and treatment are usually determined after the dentist carries out an X-ray which costs around $25 and $250. Your dentist may decide to perform a full mouth debridement when you have excess plaque and tartar build-up beyond the surfaces to be Planned and scaled—the full mouth debridement costs between $750 and $150. Based on the extent of the treatment, you might require anesthesia which increases the cost of your treatment. If the dentist considers you high risk or has an infection, they may decide to inject an antibiotic to facilitate your healing. The injection may cost an additional $90 per tooth.

Many dental insurance plans cover at least half of the dental scaling and planing procedure. The insurance can help you recover your out-of-pocket costs. However, investigate whether the insurance plan comes with an annual maximum. If you do not need to spend much on the procedure, you may consider teeth scaling and root planing in some teeth.

Of course, you can save money on dental health by visiting your dentist regularly for dental exams and cleaning. Again, brush your teeth at least twice per day using a fluoride toothbrush and a soft-bristled brush. You can ask your dentist how to brush your teeth gently and appropriately. Floss your teeth daily. You may use a Waterpik to wash any debris on your gum line. But when you notice any signs of gum disease, keep it at bay by having your dentist conduct deep cleaning treatment.

How Long Will the Root Scaling and Planing Procedure take?

The dental procedure might require more than one appointment. Also, the length of the appointment will vary based on several factors. For example, the severity of gum disease will be a crucial factor to consider. If you require extensive cleaning, your dental expert may decide to break the appointment into more than one visit. You want to cooperate with the dentist during the tooth scaling and planing.

Benefits of Root Scaling and Planings

There is no method to begin the original condition of a tooth once it is damaged. One of the effective methods of taking care of our teeth is root scaling. The procedure detects oral threats in the beginning stages and prevents them. The list below contains the advantages of root planing and scaling:

Cleaner Teeth

Having cleaner teeth is among the advantages of root scaling. You want to know that your toothbrush cannot perfectly clean tartar from your teeth. Your teeth still require professional cleaning. Root scaling and planing is the professional method you can use to have your teeth clean. The process removes all superficial stains and unsightly plaque. After the procedure, your gums look less swollen and red.

Prevents Gum Disease

When tartar and plaque build up, it promotes the development of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is also common, and you cannot easily notice it until you visit a dentist for a cleaning. The dental experts will look at your gums for inflammation, infection, and bone loss to indicate whether you have gum disease. Gum diseases always respond well to early medication.

Therefore, frequently visiting the dentist for tooth cleaning, lowers the chances of suffering a periodontal disease. Again, if your oral hygiene includes gum disease, you can treat it before it worsens. If the condition lasts for long, it may result in severe pain and even tooth loss.

Removes Stains

Stain removal is among the advantages of root planing. With the process, you will always keep your smile bright. The polishing step of root scaling helps in removing stains from your teeth. You may have stains on your teeth by frequently drinking tea, coffee, or wine. Root scaling has covered you as it erases all stains, giving you a confident smile.

Reduces Dental Cost

Root planing has covered you if you fail to visit the dentist frequently because of increased cost. Root scaling comes with a lower cost than the amount you could spend to fill a cavity or treat periodontal disease. For this reason, you will spend less at the dentist. Root planing keeps your teeth healthy and prevents them from tooth decay. You spend fewer hours at the dentist's office when you avoid tooth decay since you don't require corrective procedures like filing and crowns. We have flexible payment methods even if you have financial constraints in paying for root scaling.

Prevention of Tooth Loss

Gum disease commonly results from tooth loss. The best method you can apply to stop periodontal disease is having proper oral cleanliness when at home or with the help of a medical expert. Your oral health includes brushing daily and annual root scaling to remove tartar and plaque.

At times, periodontal disease makes bacteria grow under your gum line. Since you cannot clear out tartar without a dentist, you want to have regular root scaling to reduce gum diseases.

Tartar Removal

Brushing our teeth daily cannot scrape off plaque. You have to note that the places you miss when brushing develops tartar. Tartar is a hardened plaque that doesn't come off after regular brushing. Root scaling medical experts can easily remove this tartar from your teeth. You do not want to try the procedure alone since you can easily bruise your mouth. The medical expert removes places where plaque may stick to your teeth in root scaling. When bacteria sticks to the teeth, it results in teeth and periodontal problems. Your dentist will start by root planing, smooth your teeth roots and research the gums to the teeth.

Reduce Bad Breath

Maintaining your oral health is the best way to prevent bad breath. Brushing alone cannot remove bacteria and crusty deposits on your teeth. Therefore despite maintaining oral health, you may still experience bad breath. Reducing bad breath is an advantage resulting from root scaling—the bad breath results from gum diseases and other oral problems. When a medical expert removes the root cause, you eliminate the problem with bad breath.

Risks and Side Effects of Tooth Scaling

Root scaling comes with minimal risks. After the procedure, your dentist may prescribe a special mouthwash to avoid infection in your mouth. Following dental scaling, you want to call the dentist immediately when:

  • The pain worsens.
  • The area does not heal.
  • You experience fever.

What to Expect After Teeth Scaling

After the medical procedure, you notice less bleeding, less redness, and swelling in the gum tissue. You can maintain the gum with proper care. Remember to always consult your dentist when you experience much discomfort and pain.

  • Discomfort or Pain

After the procedure, you will experience acute pain for several days. Discomfort comes with slight throbbing or aching may; then, it becomes uncomfortable. Any discomfort associated with brushing you will be better in three days.

  • Tooth Sensitivity

Your teeth may become sensitive to sweets or temperature changes for the first two days. Bleeding slight bleeding occurs after the next brushing. The bleeding decreases after two or three days. When the bleeding persists after three days, visit your dentist.

  • Appearance

Root surfaces may be more exposed to the inflammation subsidies. This results in more spaces between teeth.

Instructions to Minimize Scaling and Root Planing Symptoms

If you have undergone extensive root planting, you don't want to chew hard foods, including meat and raw vegetables. However, this should not last for weeks after the procedure. You want to consume a softer diet until you start chewing comfortably.


When the dentist uses local anesthesia, you want to avoid chewing food until your feelings return to prevent injury to your cheeks and tongue. You want to take aspirin to reduce discomfort. When tooth sensitivity persists, you want to use a toothpaste containing potassium nitrite. And when the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, it requires the professional application of a desensitizing agent.

Oral hygiene

When gum tissues are tender, you want to brush your teeth gently but thoroughly. You also want to rinse your mouth using an antimicrobial rinse or warm saline rinse for two weeks.

Professional Tips to Care for Your Teeth After Tooth Scaling and Root Planing

Gum infection can be as harmful to your teeth' health as actual teeth decay. When you leave the condition unattended, the problem may worsen and cause systemic infections and tooth loss. Root scaling or planing is recommended for your teeth' health. The procedure ensures you remove the biofilm, plaque, and tartar. After the dental procedure, you want to observe the following tips:

Brush Gently

Just because your teeth are tender does not mean you should avoid brushing or flossing. Remember, it's normal to experience light bleeding and moderate discomfort after the procedure. To minimize the pain while brushing your teeth, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Cleaning your teeth may take more time because you will have to brush your teeth slowly and deliberately. Think of cleaning your teeth as a fresh slate. Ensure you brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day to help prevent the formation of plaque and tartar.

Three days after the root scaling and planing, the discomfort and the light bleeding will decline. Do not change the brush after noticing the abate tooth discomfort and bleeding. Continue using the soft-bristled toothbrush. Note a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause your teeth gum to draw back from the teeth.

Schedule Dental Appointments with Your Dentist

After the tooth scaling and planing procedure, ensure you make appointments with your dental expert. Do not assume you are alright. Let your dentist observe your progress. Regular cleaning and checkups will limit plaque and tartar buildup, ensuring long-term post-treatment success. Root planing or scaling will give you a second chance to keep healthy gums. Therefore, proper care after the procedure is essential.

Limit Snacks

Good oral hygiene requires you to take a balanced diet. Every time you take a drink or eat, you expose your mouth to substances that can create an environment for bacteria to thrive. Limiting snacks, especially immediately after the procedure, will limit the potential chances of creating an ideal environment for the bacteria.

Use Warm Salt Water to Soothe the Gums

After every heavy meal, create warm salt water to soothe your gums. After undergoing the root scaling and planing procedure, you may become more sensitive to extreme cold or hot foods, tacky foods, and sweet foods. The mild warm salt water can help alleviate the mild inflammation and redness.

Use wax-Coated Floss

Using wax-coated floss would help if you flossed your teeth twice per day. When you use unwaxed floss after the procedure, you might experience bleeding. Apart from brushing your teeth, it would help if you also flossed them immediately after every meal. Ensure you visit your dentist immediately when you experience new symptoms and more discomfort after the procedure.

Avoid Tough Foods

You want to observe the foods you take after the tooth scaling and planing procedure. Avoid food with cold and hot temperatures as they may heighten your sensitivity. Avoid other foods like popcorn, peanut brittle, and chewy candies since they may lodge in between your teeth and cause discomfort.

Find a Dental Expert Near Me

Do you need to treat periodontal diseases through scaling and root planing? If your condition is advanced, you want to seek out the services of an experienced dentist. The dentist will offer tooth scaling and planing services. Start by making an appointment with the dentist.

At The Whittier Dentist, we offer various dental services to patients in Los Angeles, CA, including teeth scaling and planing, at a favorable price. Boost your smile and confidence by working with our dentists. Call us at 562-632-1223 today to schedule a dental appointment.