Scaling and Root Planing

Subgingival Scaling: Cleaning the tooth below the gumline.

This initial stage of treatment is usually referred to as a "perio scale".  Supragingival and subgingival scaling of the enamel and root surfaces to remove plaque, calculus and stain.  It is a more definitive scaling when no other treatment is recommended.

This type of scaling is done to:

1) reduce gingival inflammation 
2) reduce pocket depth.

Root Planing: Smoothing the tooth root

The roots of teeth are covered with cementum.  Cementum is permeable, and when it is exposed to the pocket environment, toxic substances, produced in plaque seep into it.  Residual calculus can become imbedded in the cementum of the tooth root.  Root planing removes this altered surface to produce a smooth hard, clean surface, free of toxic substances.    As a result, there is a reduction of gingival inflammation and pocket depth.

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Umaki may recommend placement of antibiotic medication in the periodontal pockets after scaling and root planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for Dr. Umaki to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.


For more information about non-surgical treatment, click on the links below: