Tooth Scaling & Root Planing Rochester NY

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling and root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove dental plaque and 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 preformed on moderate to severe periodontal disease.

What do the procedures entail?

We will perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include x-rays and a visual exam of the mouth.


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, on the root.

  • Root Planing:
    The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
An animated illustration 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,we may place antibiotics in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage healing.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.

Benefits of Treatment

Scaling and planing may have many benefits. One is that it can help prevent systemic disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream 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 against tooth loss. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize. This may cause chronic inflammatory response by the body. This can destroy gum and bone tissue and lead to tooth loss.

Scaling and root planing may reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity.

Rochester Periodontal & Dental Implants

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