A Comprehensive Guide to Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing: What You Need to Know

Dental health is crucial, and proper care and maintenance are essential for preventing serious complications like periodontal disease. Periodontal scaling and root planing is a type of deep cleaning procedure performed by dentists and hygienists to treat periodontal disease.

This procedure is used to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and gums and smooth the teeth’ root surfaces. This guide will provide an overview of the procedure and explain what you need to know about periodontal scaling and root planing.

You’ll learn more about the process, the benefits of the procedure, and the risks associated with it. With the correct information, you can take the necessary steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of periodontal disease.

What Is Periodontal Scaling And Root Planing?

Periodontal scaling and root planing is a procedure that removes periodontal pockets and smooths the root surfaces of the teeth. Periodontal pockets occur when the gums separate from the teeth and dental plaque builds below the gum line.

This plaque causes cavities, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. The pockets can also allow for the spread of bacteria, which can cause periodontal disease. 

Scaling and root planing are performed using special tools, including a scaler, curette, and periodontal probe. During this process, the dentist or hygienist will use the scaler to break up the calculus and plaque on the teeth. 

The curette will lift the gums away from the teeth, and the periodontal probe will be inserted into the periodontal pockets.

This probe will help smooth the root surfaces of the teeth and make it easier for the gums to reattach to the teeth.

Benefits of Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Periodontal scaling and root planing can provide numerous benefits, including improved dental health, healthier gums and teeth, and better oral hygiene habits.

If you suffer from periodontal disease, scaling and root planing may help to slow or even stop the progression of this condition, which can reduce your risk of experiencing more severe complications.

Scaling and root planing may also help to improve your oral health by removing plaque and calculus that can lead to cavities and gingivitis. This procedure is also included in a standard dental cleaning and will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy in the long run. 

How Is the Procedure Carried Out?

Periodontal scaling and root planing can be lengthy and uncomfortable, so most dentists recommend general anesthesia for the patient. Under anesthesia, you won’t feel any pain, and the procedure will be much quicker and less uncomfortable.

The dentist or hygienist will then remove loose debris from the teeth and use the scaler to break up any plaque and calculus that have formed below the gum line. The probe will then break up the calculus and smoothen the root surfaces of the teeth.

The Risks of Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Any procedure involving dental instruments can come with some risks, but periodontal scaling and root planing are generally safe when performed by a qualified dentist. You may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the gums, which will significantly reduce any pain experienced.

Scaling and root planing can result in minor bleeding and swelling, but this is normal and will subside within a few days. In rare cases, the bleeding may be excessive, or the swelling may last longer than expected.

If this is the case for you, you must speak with your dentist about the best way to manage the symptoms.

How to Prepare for the Procedure

Periodontal scaling and root planing is a fairly standard procedure, and most dentists recommend getting it done at least once a year. As with any other dental procedure, preparing for scaling and root planning is essential to ensure that you receive a high-quality result.

This procedure is best performed when your gums are healthy and inflammation-free, so you should avoid certain foods and beverages before your appointment. Dairy, coffee, red wine, and smoking may negatively impact your gums, so you should avoid these foods and drinks at least 48 hours before your appointment.

It is also a good idea to schedule your appointment when your mouth is most likely free of any recent illness or infection. This will help to minimize the risk of bleeding and other complications during the procedure.

What to Expect After the Procedure

After scaling and root planing, you may experience some bleeding and swelling in the gums for up to two days. It is common for your mouth to be sensitive or sore for a few days, an average side effect of local anesthesia.

Saliva may also be thicker than usual after the procedure due to the gums’ healing process. Scaling and root planning are generally considered low-risk procedures, but taking care of yourself and following the post-procedure instructions is important.

Be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and take any medications prescribed by your dentist to manage any discomfort or swelling. It is best to avoid eating foods that could irritate your mouth, including spicy and salty dishes, crunchy or hard foods, and sugary treats.

Avoid smoking, and wait for two weeks after your appointment before you indulge in a glass of red wine. This will give your gums enough time to heal before consuming alcohol.

Post-Procedure Care and Maintenance Tips

Periodontal scaling and root planing can significantly improve your dental health, but only if you take proper care of your mouth after the procedure. Brush your teeth and gums at least once daily, floss between your teeth once a day, and visit the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.

If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels is crucial. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of gum disease, so monitoring your levels and taking steps to manage them is essential.

Alternatives to Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

The best way to maintain good dental health is to practice good oral hygiene and go to the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning. However, if you experience any discomfort or pain in your gums, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.

If you have gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend undergoing periodontal surgery. This procedure is the same as scaling and root planing, but it is performed using surgical instruments.

You may need to undergo gum grafting to treat the condition if you have severe gum disease. This surgery attaches the gums to the teeth to repair any damage.

These two procedures are often used to treat severe cases of gum disease, but scaling and root planing can also help prevent gum disease in the first place. Gum disease can be treated, but it is vital to catch it early before it becomes too advanced.


Periodontal scaling and root planing is a dental procedure used to treat gum disease and improve dental health. This procedure removes plaque and calculus that have built up below the gum line and smooths the root surfaces of the teeth to help reattach the gums to the teeth.

This is performed using special tools, which will significantly reduce gum disease risk. To help avoid developing gum disease and other complications, maintain good oral hygiene habits and visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning. 

Visit Your Dentist At East Valley Dental Care For Your Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

At East Valley Dental Care, we understand the importance of periodontal health in maintaining overall well-being. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of care, including periodontal scaling and root planing.

This procedure is a deep cleaning of the teeth and the gums that helps remove the plaque and tartar buildup that can cause periodontal problems.

At East Valley Dental Care, we provide comprehensive periodontal scaling and root planing treatment. Our team of highly qualified and experienced dentists uses advanced techniques and the most up-to-date technology to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care.

At East Valley Dental Care, we understand how important it is to maintain good periodontal health. We are committed to helping our patients achieve and maintain good oral health. We offer periodontal scaling and root planing as part of our comprehensive dental care.

We see each patient as a distinct person and adapt each therapy to your particular requirements. As part of our commitment to giving immediate, customized care to every patient, we wish to promote patient communication. Please know that we are here to offer excellent patient care and that we cherish the faith you have put in us.

Feel free to click here if you’d like to learn more about all our services. You can click here if you have decided to book an appointment with us. Lastly, if you have any questions, contact us at (480)-890-2811. 



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