Scaling and Root Planing

scalingandplaningScaling and root planing are often one of the reasons you may try to avoid the dentist, especially if you haven’t been caring for your teeth properly. You can feel the buildup of plaque on them, but they still look okay. You stopped flossing because it’s such a pain, and your gums bleed too much…and does your dentist really need to do all that scraping? It may not hurt, but the sound is horrendous. Scaling and root planing is a necessary evil when it comes to dental care. The two procedures are performed together as a deep dental cleaning and, at the very least, help keep your teeth healthy, and may save you from dentures. If you have questions about scaling and root planing, or any other dental techniques, your northwest Indiana dentist, Dr. Nicholas Cain, will be glad to explain the procedures and expected outcomes.

What Do These Procedures Accomplish?

Scaling and root planing are dental procedures used to remove disease causing bacterial agents leading to gingival inflammation and periodontal disease.  Dental plaque forms from bacteria colonizing on the tooth’s surface. Plaque is sticky and if not removed will harden into tartar. The objective of scaling is to remove plaque that has built up on the crown and below the gumline on the root surfaces. Root planing is the removal of diseased cementum and surface dentin, before smoothing the root surface. The smoother the surface the more difficult for bacteria to adhere.  These procedures are effective in helping to prevent gum disease, and to control gingivitis (mild inflammation of the gingival tissue), and moderate to severe periodontitis. Scaling and root planing procedures:

  • Eliminate Bad Breath: A common symptom of gum disease is persistent bad breath due to food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity.
  • Protect Your Teeth: Periodontal disease is the most common reason for tooth loss. Scaling and root planing can help keep gum tissue, teeth, and the supporting bone structure healthy, so your teeth can last a lifetime.
  • Prevent Illnesses: Research has indicated a link between gum disease and other bodily diseases including heart disease, and lung infections. Healthy teeth mean a healthier body.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.