Scaling and root planing is a conservative cleaning procedure used to treat periodontal disease.
Scaling involves a deep cleaning of the tooth above and below the gum line in order to remove accumulated plaque and calculus. The root of the tooth is then planed until it is smooth. This eliminates any rough calculus deposits on the root which can provide breeding grounds for bacteria.
When the causes of the infection are removed with scaling and planing, gum tissues are allowed to heal and become healthy. This non-surgical treatment is usually a very effective, particularly if used in the early stages of periodontal disease.
After the active treatment is completed and the mouth is in a relative state of health, the patient should have regular cleanings lasting 45 minutes to an hour, approximately every three months. These may be done by the dental hygienist, the periodontist, or the general dentist. Dentists also recommend that a habit of good home care be developed.
Last updated: 16-Jun-05