Scaling and Root Planing


Closeup of dental instrument

Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry provides scaling and root planing services in Eatontown and Howell. Call us today to learn more and schedule your appointment.

Scaling and root planing is usually the first line of treatment for gum disease. When periodontitis is diagnosed and treated early, scaling and root planing can often reverse the disease before it causes permanent damage to your gums, jawbone, and teeth. Sometimes known as deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure that can be performed in our office with local anesthesia.


More About Gum Disease


The first signs of gum disease include swelling, redness, and bleeding. As the infection progresses, you may also notice that you have bad breath and that your gums are beginning to recede.

As tartar and bacteria collect below the gumline in periodontal pockets, gum disease will begin to attack the structures that support your teeth. Over time, this loss of support causes teeth to feel loose and shift in the mouth, sometimes leading to tooth loss.

Gum disease affects your overall health and well-being in addition to your teeth and gums. There is an increasing body of research demonstrating links between periodontitis and diabetes, heart disease, preterm birth, and dementia. Given this, it’s important to take a proactive approach and treat gum disease in its earliest stages with scaling and root planing.


What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing


Scaling and root planing is similar to the dental cleaning you receive every six months at your dentist’s office, but it also cleans your teeth below the gumline.

The process begins with scaling, which removes plaque and tartar deposits from the entire tooth surface, including just below the gumline. Plaque and tartar contain infection-causing bacteria; eliminating the source of the infection allows your gums to heal. Next, root planing smooths the roots of your teeth, encouraging your gums to reattach, eliminating the deep pockets where plaque and tartar collect.

Once scaling and root planing is complete, we may recommend a periodontal maintenance program to ensure that your gums remain healthy in the long-term.


Frequently Asked Questions About Gum Disease


Can gum disease be cured?


Gum disease can be reversed if diagnosed and treated early. While the active infection can be treated if you have advanced gum disease, the damage it has caused will likely require additional dental and periodontal treatments.


How can I make my gums healthy again?


The first step in restoring the health of your gums is scaling and root planing. To keep your gums healthy, we will recommend a customized periodontal maintenance program and provide you with home oral hygiene instruction.


What are the warning signs of periodontal disease?


Swollen gums, redness, pain, bleeding, bad breath, discharge between the teeth and gums, and gum recession are the most common warning signs of periodontal disease. Your teeth may feel loose or shift in your mouth as gum disease progresses.


Is scaling and root planing painful?


We use local anesthetic to make the scaling and root planing process comfortable. Once this wears off, usually ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is usually all that is needed that day.


How long does it take for gums to heal after scaling and root planing?


The body will begin the process of healing once the bacteria is removed.  With proper oral hygiene efforts at home, you typically will see the positive effects of the treatment within days with less gum irritation and bleeding.  The gums can be reassessed about 4 to 6 weeks after treatment to evaluate the response and determine if additional treatment is needed.

Call us today to schedule your appointment.