Scaling and root planing
The first line of treatment for periodontal disease is called scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is appropriate when there has been some deterioration of the periodontal ligament, with mild loss of alveolar bone. In order words, gum inflammation has progressed beyond gingivitis, and therefore cannot be adequately treated by routine tooth cleaning procedures.
Scaling and root planing is sometimes called “deep cleaning,” however, this term is ambiguous, and is not preferred. Before beginning scaling and root planing, periodontal pockets are measured to record their depth. Periodontal pocket depth is recorded several weeks after scaling and root planing, to document the improvement achieved.
The procedure itself is performed by a specially-trained dental hygienist, and is usually done under local anesthesia. The procedure may be performed over several visits. Our hygienists are trained and experienced in performing scalng and root planing.
If scaling and root planing does not result in sufficient improvement, referral to a periodontist is necessary.