Hygiene Services

Scaling and Root Planing


Scaling and root planing is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. This procedure is more intensive than a routine general dental prophylaxis. For your comfort, your dental hygienist will numb the area prior to treatment.

Research has consistently demonstrated that this procedure reduces gingival inflammation and probing depths and shifts the bacterial composition living in these pockets from one that is associated with disease toward one associated with health. In some cases systemic antibiotics, locally administered antibiotics or laser therapy may be prescribed along with this procedure.

It is important to remember that some patients may not respond optimally to this procedure, but do respond favorably to advanced periodontal procedures.

Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance usually follows active periodontal therapy in order to maintain optimal oral health. A periodontal maintenance appointment will usually consist of your hygienist updating your health history, reviewing homecare, performing an oral cancer screening, recording gum pocket measurements and cleaning your teeth with a focus on any areas that need special attention. The goal of this type of specialized cleaning is to target the areas that may be more difficult for you keep clean at home with basic dental care.