Scaling and Root Planing in Wasilla, AK

Reverse Early-Stage Gum Disease at Northwind Dental

Do you struggle with gum disease? Don’t let the disease progress into further stages and take a toll on your smile’s appearance and oral health. At Northwind Dental, our Wasilla dentist offers scaling and root planing to reverse the early symptoms of gum disease and get your oral health back on track.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is a non-surgical dental procedure used to treat gum disease. It involves removing the plaque and tartar build-up from below the gum line and smoothing out the tooth root to prevent further bacterial growth.

The combination of scaling and root planing aims to eliminate the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that contribute to gum disease. By removing these deposits and smoothing the tooth and root surfaces, the procedure helps reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and promote gum tissue healing. It’s often recommended for those suffering from mild to moderate gum disease as a preventive measure to inhibit the disease from progressing into later stages.


Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the tooth surfaces. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. If not removed, it can harden into tartar, which can’t be eliminated with regular brushing and flossing alone. Scaling is done using special dental instruments, such as scalers or ultrasonic devices, to scrape away the buildup from the tooth surfaces.

Root Planing

Root planing is performed after scaling and focuses on the root surfaces of the teeth. The roots can develop rough areas or irregularities due to the presence of plaque and tartar, which can harbor bacteria and contribute to gum disease. During root planing, the dental professional smoothes out these rough areas, removing bacteria, toxins, and any remaining tartar. This process aims to create a clean surface on the roots, promoting the reattachment of the gums and preventing further progression of gum disease.

woman showing her red, swollen gums

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

For those showing signs of early-stage gum disease, scaling and root planing can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Prevents gum disease from progressing
  • Reduces the risk of tooth loss
  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Improves overall oral health
  • Can save you money on future dental treatments

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

Scaling and root planing are necessary when there’s an excessive build-up of plaque and tartar that has caused gum inflammation, bleeding, and even bone loss. A deep dental cleaning may be recommended if:

  • There’s moderate to severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
  • There’s a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums.
  • There’s bleeding, inflammation, and recession of the gums.
  • When there are deep pockets between the teeth and gums that have formed due to gum disease.
  • When there are loose teeth or teeth have shifted due to gum disease.

How the Scaling and Root Planing Process Works

There are several steps involved in a scaling and root planing procedure:

  1. Assessment: Before the procedure, your dentist will evaluate the extent of gum disease by examining your teeth and gums. They may take digital X-rays to assess the condition of the bone supporting the teeth.
  2. Numbing: To ensure your comfort during the procedure, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area being treated.
  3. Scaling: The dental professional will use special instruments, such as a scaler or an ultrasonic device, to carefully remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, both above and below the gum line. Scaling involves scraping away the deposits on the tooth surfaces.
  4. Root Planing: After scaling, the dentist will proceed with root planing. This step involves smoothing out the rough areas on the roots of the teeth to eliminate bacterial toxins and create a clean surface for the gums to reattach.
  5. Antibacterial Rinse: Throughout the procedure, an antibacterial rinse may be used to help control bacterial growth and reduce the chance of infection.
  6. Follow-up Visits: Depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may need multiple appointments to complete the scaling and root planing process. The dentist will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and evaluate the healing of your gums.

Scaling and Root Planing Aftercare

After your scaling and root planing treatment, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Follow a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash as prescribed by your dentist.
  • Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for a few days.
  • Attend regular dental checkups to monitor your oral health.
woman getting her teeth checked at the dentist

Frequently Asked Questions

Is scaling and root planing painful?
How long does the scaling and root planing procedure take?
Can a scaling and root planing treatment cure gum disease?
Does insurance cover scaling and root planing treatment?
Is scaling and root planing painful?

No, the scaling and root planing procedure is generally painless. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area to minimize any discomfort.

How long does the scaling and root planing procedure take?

The duration of the procedure depends on the condition of your oral health, but it usually takes one to two hours. Your dentist will examine the condition of your oral health and will provide an estimated timeline. 

Can a scaling and root planing treatment cure gum disease?

Scaling and root planing can help to manage gum disease, but it’s not a cure. It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Does insurance cover scaling and root planing treatment?

Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of scaling and root planing, but it’s best to check with your provider to confirm your coverage. If the coverage isn’t enough, ask your dentist if their office provides special discounts or financing options. 

Reverse Your Gum Disease

Effectively treat your gum disease with a scaling and root planing treatment. This treatment will help improve your oral health and prevent tooth loss. If you suspect having gum disease, seek evaluation from our Wasilla dentist. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

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