Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Periodontal Scaling & root planing is also known as “deep cleaning”. Many patients ask what is the exact difference between a normal and a deep cleaning. The two procedures are quite different. A normal cleaning is a procedure that is usually done twice a year on a relatively healthy patient. It is a prophylactic procedure that helps ensure continual gum health. A scaling and root planning is done on a patient with deep pockets where active periodontal disease is occurring. A patient is usually anesthetized on the half of the mouth being scaled. What follows is a deep scaling of all the teeth surfaces down to the base of the pockets. This active periodontal therapy rids one’s tooth surfaces of the calculus (tartar) that is the main cause of the periodontal inflammation (disease). It is highly recommended to have each side of the mouth done at separate appointments so that the patient does not get anesthetized on more than one half of the mouth.