At South Jersey Periodontics, P.C., we believe that periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. This is often accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment, called scaling and root planing. The goal of scaling and root planing is to decrease the signs of gum disease, including reduction in inflammation, bleeding, and looseness of the gum tissues.

What is it?

Scaling and root planing, also known as "deep cleaning," is a careful and thorough cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. A highly-skilled dental hygienist will use a combination of hand and power tools to clean the teeth and root surfaces. The hand tools often have metal edges that scrape plaque off teeth, and powered tools use water and vibration to remove plaque. If you gums are tender to the touch, local anethesia is used to numb the gums and keep you comfortable throughout your appointment. Because this is a very detailed procedure, scaling and root planing is often completed in 2 visits to our office, in which we treat 1/2 the mouth at a time.

Post-Op

Scaling and root planing is typically painless, although some soreness and temperature sensitivity could occur for the first few days after the procedure, as well as slight bleeding from the gums.

Effectiveness

The greatest predictor of healing after scaling and root planing is YOU! Impecable oral hygiene at home, including thorough brushing 2x/day, flossing 1x/day, and using any other recommended products, will help the gum tissues heal. Additionally, most patients will require professional dental cleanings every 3-4 months to maintain periodontal health.

Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many compliant patients do not require any further active treatment. But, non-surgical periodontal treatment does have its limitations, especailly when the periodontal disease is severe. When scaling and root planing alone does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to help restore periodontal health.