What is Scaling and Root Planing and Why Doesn’t my Insurance Consider it a Normal Tooth Cleaning?

Oct 20th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Is your mouth in need of a thorough deep clean? Root planing and scaling can give your mouth a total turnaround and help fight against gum disease, but some hesitate to make the appointment due to dental insurance woes. Does insurance consider these procedures as a standard teeth cleaning? We’re looking at what scaling and root planing can do for you, and what your insurance has to say about it.

What is Scaling?

Sometimes referred to as “deep cleaning”, dental scaling is the process of removing harmful tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth. Left untreated, tartar and plaque buildup can attribute to gum disease. During the process of scaling, your dentist will either use a hand-held instrument, or an ultrasonic one. With a hand held instrument your dentist will identify severe tartar buildup and manually scale, or remove, plaque off of your teeth.

When using an ultrasonic instrument your dentist again will identify tartar buildup and chip it off through vibrations. The removed tartar is then washed away with water. When it comes to a nonsurgical treatment for gum disease, scaling is the way to go.

What is Root Planing?

Often combined with scaling, root planing is the act of treating gum disease. When gum disease gets severe, inflammation will cause the gum to separate from the root surface. This creates what is known as a periodontal pocket, a hard to clean area where bacteria begins to form. When your dentist performs a root planing he will remove calculus and dental plaque from the root surfaces.

Why Doesn’t my Insurance Consider These Options a Standard Tooth Cleaning?

Deep cleanings can be pricey, and dental insurance doesn’t always cover it. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost, but this is not always the case. Dental insurance companies may consider this different from a standard cleaning due to the process involved. This is because unlike other cleaning procedures for your teeth, dental scaling and root planing involve cleaning below the gum line.

For more information on dental insurance, company plans, dental scaling, and root planing, schedule an appointment with Easton Dentist. Call (614) 414-0111 and schedule an appointment today.

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