Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing

Plaque bacteria, acids and certain foods all contribute to the development of gum disease. Fortunately, two common methods exist to reverse the disease — dental scaling and root planing.

Dental scaling occurs with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or both. The dentist will start the procedure with a thorough examination of your mouth. Next, an ultrasonic scaling device will be used to get rid of the plaque bacteria with sonic vibrations. The ultrasonic scaling device removes tartar, plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. A manual instrument may be used next to remove the remainder.

Root planing involves detailed scaling of the root surface to decrease inflammation of the gum tissue. The dentist scales the root surface to smooth out rough target areas, eliminating plaque and biofilm development.