What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and planing is the first step in periodontal therapy to treat and prevent the spread of gum disease. The procedure starts with Dr. Pulver or one of our periodontal therapists carefully scraping away all of the tartar, plaque, and toxins from the roots and surfaces of your teeth. This is followed by root planing, which smooths out all of the rough surfaces on the roots of your teeth. The smooth surfaces make it more difficult for tartar, plaque, and bacteria to adhere to the root and helps to keep gum disease in an inactive state. The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort.

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

This type of deep cleaning is the recommended treatment for anyone with acute and/orchronic gum disease. We typically perform the procedure when the pocket from the top of the gum line to where it attaches to the tooth is 4 mm or more in depth. When the pocket reaches this depth, bacteria, tartar, and plaque can collect under the gums and lead to infection and tooth loss.

What to Expect Following a Periodontal Deep Cleaning:

Depending on the circumstances, the procedure itself may take 2-3 appointments to complete. A follow-up visit will be scheduled so that Dr. Pulver can check that your gums are healing properly and to determine if any further treatment is necessary.

Deep cleaning is a critical first step in treating periodontal disease. Even if additional therapies are required, the procedure can slow the progress of the disease and lessen the amount of additional treatment that is necessary.