Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

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Scaling and Root Planing Overview

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The initial stage of periodontal treatment is often a thorough “deep cleaning”, or scaling and root planing (SRP). This non-surgical procedure removes dental plaque and tartar below the gum line.  SRP is often the “initial therapy” followed by additional procedures as needed.

What do the procedures entail?

Scaling and root planing is performed under local anesthetic to ensure you are completely comfortable.

  • Scaling:
    Scaling removes tartar, plaque, and stain both above and below the gum line. Scaling is performed with hand instruments and often a painless  “power washing” instrument.

  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is smoothing of the tooth roots. This removes bacteria embedded in the root and smooths the surface to prevent future attachment of plaque.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for the periodontist to completely remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom keep these pockets clean. Additional pocket reduction procedures are often needed to restore periodontal health.

Benefits of Treatment

Successful scaling and root planing has many benefits:

  • Reduce risk for tooth loss
  • Reduce staining and bad breath
  • Reduce oral bacteria & inflammation, lessening burden on overall health