Scaling and root planing, also known as conventional periodontal therapy, non-surgical periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning, is a procedure that involves removing dental plaque and calculus (scaling or debridement) and then smoothing, or planing, the (exposed) surfaces of the roots, removing calculus, toxins, or microorganisms impregnated cementum or dentine.

Why Scaling and Root Planning?

Plaque and calculus provide an irregular surface on which bacteria can easily attach. Plaque and calculus are removed with scaling and root planing. This treatment may be all that is required to bring the disease under control in it’s early stages. When it comes to gingivitis, this is especially effective.


Ultrasonic scalers and hand instruments are used to perform scaling and root planing. Electric or air-powered ultrasonic instruments are available. They are comprised of two parts:

A dull metal tip that vibrates at a high frequency and “knocks” plaque and calculus off the tooth.

A water irrigation system that cools the tip and aids in the removal of debris from the area around the teeth.

Ultrasonic instruments are typically used first to remove large plaque and calculus deposit’s from the crowns and roots of the teeth. The remaining material is removed with hand instruments called scalers and curettes, and the tooth surface is cleaned and smoothed. it’s difficult to see plaque or calculus when working beneath the gum line. To feel for roughness on the root surface, it’s completely relying on touch.

We use cutting edges to chip away at plaque and calculus. These instruments are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For different teeth, and even different surfaces of the same tooth, different instruments are used.

In one visit, scaling and root planing can be completed. If you have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, this is usually possible. Periodontitis, on the other hand, usually necessitates multiple visit’s. At each visit, the periodontist will usually treat one-quarter of your mouth (a quadrant).

Things to follow after scaling and root planing

You may experience soreness and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for two to three days after the treatment. Pain relievers sold over the counter can help. After scaling and root planing, you may be asked to use an antiseptic mouth rinse. This is particularly likely if your gums are inflamed. Brushing and flossing should, however, continue as usual. Minor bleeding is to be expected in the first few days. Within a week, this usually stops.

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Scaling and Root Planing