Scaling and Root Planing (sometimes called deep cleaning or non-surgical periodontal therapy) is usually the first step in an ongoing process to stop the destruction of periodontal disease and to keep the disease under control.
How it’s Done
Scaling and root planing is the process of smoothing out the root surfaces of the teeth by removing hard calculus deposits and debris from below the gums. A licensed dental hygienist will perform the SRP using special hand instruments, an ultrasonic scaler, or a combination of both.
The time needed to complete SRP procedures depends on the severity of the disease, number of teeth effected, pocket depth, and amount of calculus present. Traditionally when the whole mouth needs SRP we will complete one side at a time. For most patients the SRP is done in two visits that are each about an hour long.
Your comfort is our top priority. While most patients find little to no discomfort during SRP, some people like to be numb for this procedure. Your doctor or hygienist will discuss your numbing options.
The dentist may recommend taking further action directly after the deep cleaning is finished. He may recommend placing antibiotics directly into deeper pockets (placed by your dentist or hygienist), or an antibacterial mouthwash to be used at home.
The dentist will determine when you should return for periodontal maintenance therapy. Typically, the first maintenance visit will be somewhere between 2-4 months following scaling and root planing.