How Long Does Scaling And Root Planing Take

How Long Does Scaling And Root Planing Take?

Team Teeth Whitening

You have most likely had a professional dental cleaning. If you go to the dentist regularly, you have a cleaning about every 6 months. But have you ever had a deep cleaning? 

A deep cleaning of your teeth refers to scaling and root planing in dental terminology. These procedures are commonly used together to treat and manage gum disease. 

If your dentist has recommended scaling and root planing, you may be wondering how long this procedure lasts. Here’s what you can expect. 

What is Scaling? 

Scaling is a procedure that cleans the teeth and roots under the gum tissue. Plaque is a sticky substance made up of food particles and bacteria that clings to the teeth and can cause tooth decay. When it is not removed from the teeth it eventually hardens into calculus. Calculus contains bacteria that have matured to the point of infecting the gum tissue, which is the cause of gum disease.  

Scaling is the process of removing calculus that has formed below the gum line on the roots of your teeth. By removing calculus, the source of the infection is eliminated and the gum tissue can begin to heal. 

What is Root Planing? 

Root planing is the procedure that follows scaling. After the calculus is removed from the roots of your teeth, the surface tends to be rough and uneven. Root planing buffs the roots until they are smooth, which allows the gum tissue to reattach to the teeth more closely, eliminating the spaces where plaque can get under your gums. 

Average Length of a Deep Cleaning 

A deep cleaning of your teeth may take anywhere from one to two hours. The length of the process is largely determined by the amount of calculus that has formed on your teeth. In some cases you may need two separate appointments to address one half of your mouth and then the other. After the first deep cleaning, subsequent deep cleanings will most likely be shorter and less invasive. 

Do You Need Anesthesia for Scaling and Root Planing? 

A deep cleaning of your teeth requires access to the roots under the gums. This requires local anesthesia to numb your gum tissue so that you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. 

Periodontal Maintenance 

Depending on your individual needs, periodic scaling and root planing appointments may be necessary to maintain your oral health. Periodontal Maintenance consists of deep cleaning appointments on a regular schedule to manage gum disease. The frequency of your appointments will be determined based on the rate at which your teeth develop plaque and calculus, as well as the severity of your gum disease. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Scaling and Root Planing


Does everyone need scaling and root planing? 

Scaling and root planing are designed specifically for patients who have severe or chronic gum disease that has progressed to the point where a deep cleaning is necessary. For many patients regular dental cleanings every 6 months are sufficient to maintain your oral health. 

How often do I need scaling and root planing? 

Your periodontal maintenance schedule will be determined by your individual needs. Some patients may need deep cleanings once a month, others every other month, and others every 3 months. These are just some examples of typical schedules. There is no one-size-fits-all option. 

Who Provides Scaling and Root Planing? 

Scaling and root planing are periodontal procedures provided by Golia Dental. We can set up a periodontal maintenance plan that will fit into your schedule. Experience better oral health and general wellness with periodic deep cleanings of your teeth.

Call 203-248-7400 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.