Dentist Questions Gum Disease

Is scaling of teeth painful?

My friend needs to have his teeth scaled and he's a little bit nervous for it. Is this procedure painful?

12 Answers

It usually involves local anesthesia - "Novocaine" - so it is not painful.
Not really. He can tell the hygienist during how he likes scaling to be done.
The procedure itself is normally done while the gums are anesthetized --- numbed up. Many of my patients also like to use the laughing gas. Afterwards, the dentist will give home care instructions and prescription for pain (if indicated).
Best wishes.
Scaling of your teeth is done to remove hardened deposits at or below the gum line. These hardened deposits can cause pain and infect gum tissue and can lead to bone loss. There are different ways to scale teeth. It would be in your friend's best interest to find out what is available, depending on the dentist. Your friend's mouth will be anesthetized. You can have one side of your mouth done one week, and the other side, the next week. Your friend will need to learn a different way of keeping his teeth clean. Your friend can have his entire mouth done in one sitting. Yes, he or she will be numb. But with a special laser, all gum disease will be gone. There will be no cutting or sewing. This procedure is called LANAP. Home care instructions will be given. Dentistry has come a long way. Investigate what is available.
A scaling is usually a painless procedure on most patients. If there is recession of the gums it may be tender but topical anesthesia or nitrous oxide could be used to make the procedure painless
The procedure itself is not painful. The patient will be numbed up for the procedure. However, your friend may experience some soreness while healing following the treatment anywhere from 3-5 days.
Some pain goes with the territory but the gums can be does with routine anesthesia. That will lessen in two weeks.
Scaling should not usually be painful. Sometimes if you have very heavy tartar buildup the tooth roots are exposed. These roots can be sensitive when the tartar deposits are removed. Your dentist or hygienist should be able to provide anesthetic to the area if needed.
Most of the time during a scaling procedure the patient is numb, so no pain should be felt during the actual procedure. There is some soreness for a few days afterward, but nothing too severe.

Dr. Brandon Nicholson, D.D.S.
It depends on if the gums are inflamed and how much root mat be exposed. If the gums are red and bleeding it can be sore. It is easier on the patient to use an ultrasonic cleaner, it sprays a lot of water. Some pieces of tarter may be very hard and a hand scaler may need to be used. That can be a little more uncomfortable. If the tissue is very healthy, it will not be difficult at all.
Scaling teeth occurs every time you go to the dental office for a dental "cleaning." Scaling is just a more technical term. The extent of scaling can vary depending upon the health of the patient's periodontium (bone and gums). Typically, this is not a painful procedure and if more advanced therapy is needed, there are several options to reduce discomfort.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Rankin
Scaling of teeth is normally NOT painful. I suppose it could be if not done properly. Normally scaling of teeth refers to having teeth cleaned more thoroughly and aggressively than one would normally handle without anesthesia. It is really not much more than that. Once anesthesia is achieved one should be comfortable throughout the procedure and the area should be only slightly sore once the anesthesia wears off.