Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing (also known as deep cleaning ) is a non-surgical approach to trying to eliminate the infection and get gingivitis or early stages of periodontitis under control. The procedure is a very thorough cleaning and is performed without local anesthesia in the dentist's ofice. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of the disease may make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort, so we can aggressively get under the gum line and into the deep pockets in an attempt to clean out as much of the plaque, calculus (tarter), toxins, and bacteria as possible that have caused the pockets. The deeper the pockets, the harder it is to completely eliminate the factors leading to the disease.

Scaling removes deposits of bacterial plaque, calculus, food debris, and pus that have accumulated in the infected pockets.

Root planing smoothes and cleans the root of the tooth and removing the infected tooth structure, so that the gum tissue may heal next to the tooth.

What can I expect?

Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time and reduces the time for each appointment. After your cleaning you may have some mild discomfort or soreness which can normally be relieved with something like Tylenol®, Advil® (Motrin or Ibuprofen), or Aleve®. As the inflammation goes down some of your roots may become exposed causing possible thermal sensitivity to hot or cold. This sensitivity will get better, but it may take time for it to diminish. Sometimes scaling and root planing is enough to completely correct mild to moderate periodontal problems, greatly reducing both the inflammation, bleeding, and pocket depths in your mouth. Our goal is to help you keep and maintain as many of your natural teeth for as long as possible without compromising adjacent teeth.

Contact us today if you have any further questions and to schedule an appointment!