Scaling and root planing

Sometimes a simple cleaning can't get deep enough

When plaque and tartar extend below the gum line, we remove it with a deep cleaning or "scaling and root planing" that leaves your gums happier and your mouth healthier.

Have painful, swollen gums? Get a free check-up. Make an Appointment

How scaling and root planing work

Healthy gums hug your teeth nice and tight. As gum disease advances from gingivitis to periodontitis, your gums loosen to get away from the toxins in the plaque and calculus (tartar). This allows bacteria to travel even farther below the gumline. When you get to that point, you need a deep cleaning.

First we numb your gums

Often your dentist or hygienist will use a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain while he/she does the deep cleaning.

Then we scale the roots of your teeth

Your dentist scrapes away all of the plaque and tartar, just like in a normal cleaning. But during deep cleaning, she scrapes down below the gumline.

Next we smooth-out the roots of your teeth

Your dentist will plane — or smooth — your teeth’s roots. Smoothing your roots encourages your gums to snuggle back up to your teeth.

We irrigate to flush away bad bacteria

Your dentist or hygienist will use a special device to flush that area between your teeth and gums with an antimicrobial medication to help eliminate as much bacteria as possible.

We might apply local antibiotics

Your dentist might apply a strong antibiotic called Arestin® to your gums to stop any infections. Arestin can stay active for up to four weeks, and since it goes directly on your gums, it doesn’t have the side effects of antibiotics in pill form.

PerioProtect can help gums stay healthy

Your dentist may have you start using PerioProtect, an in-home gum treatment that helps reduce bacteria that causes gum disease.

Give your gums a daily perio treatment at home.

PerioProtect bathes your gums in a bacteria-fighting gel that promotes healthy gums. It can even help gums recover from periodontitis. To get started, your dentist has to take impressions of your mouth so the lab can make you a set of custom, PerioProtect trays.

Learn about PerioProtect

Show bacteria who's boss

Our Gum Care kit combines the Revolation toothbrush by DentistRX, prescription-strength toothpaste and an anti-bacterial rinse that will help keep your gums healthier. Ask your dental hygienist or dentist for a kit the next time you visit.

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