Scaling & Root Planing

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy:

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove causative agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly preformed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.


Call The Specialty Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants Phone Number 770 949-7753 with any questions to schedule your consultation with Dr. Sherry.


What do the procedures entail?

Dr. Sherry and his trained periodontal hygienists will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, Dr. Sherry may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

  • Scaling:
    When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental instrument called an ultrasonic scaler. The tool vibrates ultrasonically, breaking up tarter and bacteria and usually includes an irrigation process below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is performed in order to remove the contaminated outer surface of the affected tooth root that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally gently smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

Root scaling is the removal of calculus & plaque from the roots of teeth Root planing is a smoothening of tooth roots that promotes healing

Antibiotics place via a gel polymer, may be recommended to be placed into the diseased periodontal pocket to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. This is done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for the periodontist to resolve the disease process for the patient.  Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of disease causing plaque bacteria. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health and improve long term success for the patient.

Benefits of Treatment

 Scaling and root planing can have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes contributing  to heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.

Call The Specialty Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants Phone Number 770 949-7753 with any questions or to make an appointment.