Scaling & Root Planing

Many patients require a deep cleaning also known as scaling and root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease.This procedure is non-surgical and does not require any cutting or drilling. When one is diagnosed with the first stage of gum disease the dentist might recommend a deep cleaning because regular cleaning only involves scraping plaque off teeth.

With gingivitis, your dentist wants to remove the infection and wants to promote healthy gum re-attachment and stop gum infection from progressing into periodontitis. This is why a deep cleaning requires a more gum cleaning specifically to purge the bacterial infection where your toothbrush cannot reach.

Lets see how this scaling and root planning procedure takes place:

The scaling and root planing procedure

During the examination process your dentist and hygienist will work together to give you a thorough evaluation which includes X-Rays. We will also examine your gum tissue to check the depth of your periodontal pocketing around your teeth.

After evaluating your issue or disease, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to keep your gums numb and keep you comfortable during your procedure.

Next is the scaling part of the procedure. This will involve the removal of tartar and plaque from all your teeth and around the gum lining.

The next step is root planing. This involves using a metal instrument to clean deep inside your gum line, removing any plaque that has been moved deep in your gums and tooth root. During the planning process, we will smooth out any rough areas on the enamel damaged by the infection.

Your Dentist will most likely will recommend a follow up to re-evaluatee the gum tissues to check up on the healing and infection.

What to expect from teeth scaling?

Teeth scaling and root planning may take more than one trip to your dentist. Your dentist may ask you you to return for a follow-up appointment to make sure the procedure worked.You can resume your normal oral care process after your teeth scaling and root planing. This includes brushing your teeth at least three times a day and flossing regularly. You should also eat a healthy, balanced diet and see your dentist for regular cleaning to prevent the condition from returning.

You are likely to be placed on a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule, returning for regular cleanings every three or four months versus the standard cleaning every six months.


1. Don’t use aspirin pain medication, if needed.

2. Go ahead brush and floss your teeth normally.

3. Use a warm water rinse if required.

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.