Scaling and root planing is one of the initial treatments for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This non-surgical procedure helps remove plaque and calculus to prevent gingival swelling and bone loss. It is most often provided for patients who have deep gum pockets, hard to remove calculus causing inflammation, or those with moderate to severe periodontal disease.

Scaling and Root Planing May Be Necessary To:

  • Prevent Disease

    Oral bacteria found in periodontal disease can travel throughout the body and may contribute to respiratory infections and heart disease. Removing bacteria through scaling and root planing can help prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body.

  • Protect Teeth

    Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. It creates deep pockets in the gums, and when those pockets surpass 3 mm in length, they can house harmful bacteria that can lead to bone loss and chronic gingival inflammation.

  • Improve Aesthetic Appearance

    Because scaling and root planing eliminates tartar and plaque, it also removes the majority of stains and discoloration on the surfaces of teeth.

  • Encourage Better Breath

    Patients who have periodontal disease often suffer from halitosis (bad breath). This is caused by bacteria and food debris caught in tissue pockets. Scaling and root planing along with regular visits help alleviate the bad odors.


What To Expect During Treatment:

After a careful examination of the mouth and detailed X-rays, Dr. Nicolas Gallegos may suggest scaling and root planing if gum disease is present or is worsening. Other factors such as previous gum pocket readings, radiographic bone loss, and the presence of tartar or inflammation are all taken into account in this determination.

  • Scaling

    In scaling, we remove plaque and tartar (dental calculus) from the tooth surface using special cleaning instruments. In many cases this treatment is performed by numbing the teeth and gums to make the procedure a comfortable experience. We may also administer an antimicrobial agent beneath the gum line to help eliminate bacteria.

  • Root Planing

    This step involves cleaning the roots of the teeth and smoothing them to remove bacterial toxins, which help prevent future bacterial outbreaks.

We will schedule a secondary appointment to examine the gum pockets and monitor healing after the removal of bacteria during a deep cleaning. If proper healing is not obtained, further treatment or possibly a referral to a periodontist (bone and gums specialist) may be recommended.

If you have any concerns or questions about scaling and root planing or periodontal disease, please contact our dental office in Spokane, Washington, at 509-327-8681 to learn more and schedule a consultation with our dentist.