We want our patients to be informed about dental health issues and treatments available because informed patients make better decisions about their health and well-being. The Patient Library covers topics associated with dentistry, dental diagnoses, and treatments available. We encourage you to look through these pages whenever you have an interest or concern about your dental needs and care.
Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.
The procedure begins with administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a "scaler," or an ultrasonic cleaner, is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.
The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. If effective, scaling and root planing helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.