Scaling & Root Planing | Severance Dental

Scaling & Root Planing

The goal of scaling and root planing is to remove substances such as dental plaque and tartar that can irritate and cause inflammation of the gum tissue and the surrounding bone. Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures that will remove these substances and completely cleanse the gum tissue. These procedures have proven to be effective against gingivitis and moderate to severe cases of periodontal disease.

Reasons for Scaling & Root Planing

Below are a few reasons why Dr. Kelly may recommend scaling and root planing: 

  • Prevention – Periodontal disease has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, lung disease, and stroke. Scaling and root planing will remove the bacteria that cause periodontal disease, preventing the bacteria from spreading throughout the body.
  • Protection of the Teeth – As periodontal disease progresses, it has the ability to begin to break down the gum tissue and the bone tissue, causing the loosening and eventual loss of the teeth. In fact, periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in developed countries.
  • Aesthetics – Once plaque and tartar become severe enough to cause periodontal disease, it has formed a hard, thick, yellow layer around the gum tissue. This can cause the teeth to appear yellow and dirty. Scaling and root planing will restore your teeth back to their natural beauty and get rid of the thick, unsightly tartar.
  • Better Breath – The bacteria that cause periodontal disease does not have a pleasant odor. Persistent bad breath associated with gum disease will be alleviated after scaling and root planing has been performed.  

Before the scaling and root planing procedures are performed, you will receive a full examination by Dr. Kelly. X-Rays may also be taken to help make a diagnosis before performing scaling and root planing. If your situation is severe enough, a local anesthetic will be administered prior to the procedures. 


The ultrasonic scaling tool removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth and around the root surfaces. In most cases, the scaling tool will also include an irrigation process that is used to apply an antimicrobial agent below the gums. This will help reduce the bacteria under the gum tissue. 

Root Planing

Root planing is used to remove cementum and any surface dentin that may be embedded with bacteria, plaque, and tartar. The root of the tooth will then be smoothed over in order to promote the healing processes. Having smooth and clean root surfaces will help you avoid bacteria colonization in the future. 

Once these procedures have been performed, the pockets between the teeth and the gum tissue will be treated with antibiotics. This will help the gum tissue to heal more quickly and get rid of any bacteria that may remain.

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