Deep Teeth Cleaning

What happens if I have periodontal disease?

When necessary, the initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

Ready To Take Control Of Your Dental Care?

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
Our caring and dedicated staff can't wait to hear from you!

Call us: 320-231-1290

What Do the Procedures Entail?

The hygienists will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, Dr. Gardner may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure to insure your complete comfort. Our Hygienists have extensive training in the comfortable and successful treatment, and maintenance  of Periodontal diseases.

An animated illustration showing the process of scaling


When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process to help reduce oral bacteria.

An animated depiction of a root planing procedure

Root Planing:

Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

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, your hygienist may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and 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 your hygienist to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar.

When the periodontal pockets are deep, the bacteria that colonize those deep pockets have a life cycle of 90 days. That means they re-infect the pockets every 90 days. For that reason, our Periodontal patients are seen every 3 months (90 days). Many of those patients have diligently maintained those teeth for many many years with our help. This is a conservative way for Periodontal patients to keep their own teeth.

Sometimes the “pockets” are so deep that neither the patient nor the Hygienist can maintain the pocket or control the bacteria in the plaque and tartar. Patients like these e sometimes require a type of surgery to reduce the pocket depth to a level that can be maintained. In these cases we would often refer to one of our trusted colleagues who specializes in difficult periodontal situations.

Benefits of Treatment

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body. Recent research has begun to show a link between the incidence of Periodontal Disease and the presence of heart and respiratory diseases, as well as many other inflammatory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions of Periodontal Disease. With continued research in these areas it seems prudent to maintain the best possible oral health.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.

Ready To Take Control Of Your Dental Care?

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
Our caring and dedicated staff can't wait to hear from you!

Call us: 320-231-1290