For a brief narrated overview of scaling and root planing, please click the image on the below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about scaling and root planing.
Having trouble? Please make sure you have version 7 of the Flash browser plugin in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.
The initial stage of treatment is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) deposits beneath the gum line.
The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, antibiotic fibers may be placed in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.