Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing

What is a Scaling and Root Planing?

Gum disease affects millions of people worldwide, with almost half of all adults over 30 having it to some degree. Gum disease occurs when tiny pockets form around the teeth. These pockets deepen and allow for bacteria, debris and plaque to get lodged inside, further infecting the sensitive gums and pulling them away from the tooth. Gum disease is the leading cause of both tooth and bone loss, and a scaling and root planing is necessary to help keep those small pockets clean while helping the gums to heal.

Why is a Scaling and Root Planing necessary?

A scaling and root planing is necessary if you have periodontal gum disease. The procedure not only helps to clean the teeth by removing tartar and buildup, but it goes deeper below the gum line to clean up those small gingival pockets. Once cleaned, the gums have the ability to heal and will close up more closely against the teeth. The procedure is typically done in two visits, as one side of the mouth is treated at a time.


You are a good candidate for a scaling and root planing if you have gum disease to some degree. The procedure is best suited to patients with mild to moderate gum disease. Other treatments are available for more advanced gum disease, and we can discuss these options at your appointment. We can help to determine if a scaling and root planing is right for your needs with a gum check that involves measuring the depth of the pockets around your teeth.

What occurs during a Scaling and Root Planing?

We will administer anesthetic to the side of the mouth being treated. This allows us to go deeper with the cleaning without it being painful for you. We then use special scalers and instruments to remove tartar and stains from the teeth. Next, we’ll worn deeper below the gum line to clean out these pockets and smooth the roots of your teeth. You’ll then be scheduled for another appointment for the other side of your mouth to be treated.

If you think you might need or benefit from a scaling and root planing, call our office and one of our staff members can further help you.