Scaling & Root Planing

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.

What do the procedures entail?

Dr. Hadeed 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. Hadeed may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

  • 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 that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
  • 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.

An animated illustrion showing the process of scaling An animated depiction of a root planing procedure

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, Dr. Hadeed 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 Dr. Hadeed to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.


Call us at ☎ Gaithersburg Office Phone Number 301-330-5000 with any questions about Scaling & Root Planing to Treat Gum Disease or to make an appointment with Gaithersburg Periodontist Dr. Hadeed.


Benefits of Scaling & Root Planing 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 bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

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.

Patient Reviews for Scaling and Root Planing

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Aesthetic Laser Periodontics & Dental Implants

5 out of 5 stars based on 1 Scaling and Root Planing reviews.

Patient Testimonial

I cannot say enough kind things about Dr. Hadeed, Tracie, and Freda. I sought out help from Dr. Hadeed after learning I would need extensive periodontal work to be medically cleared for hip replacement surgery. They got me in the day after I called and conducted a thorough examination and explained the options. Once a decision was made, they got me in quickly. We did one side of the mouth at a time. I was nervous about the process before the first session. Tracie let me pick the music and she and Dr. Hadeed carefully explained each step as it was happening. Dr. Hadeed made sure I had enough numbing medication to be comfortable and he gladly supplemented it as needed. It was far less painful than I had thought. The best part was the follow up. I got texts throughout the evening and into the weekend from both Dr. Hadeed and Tracie to make sure I was ok. Dr. Hadeed was also very fair in his fee structure and mindful of the fact that my insurance covered next to none of the work. I cannot thank Dr. Hadeed, Tracie and Freda enough for making what could have been a terrible experience as professional and pleasant as possible.

- Alec L

5 out of 5 stars on