Scaling & Root Planing, North Dallas TX

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing. The objective of this non-surgical procedure is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which causes gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventive measure. It is commonly performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease. Often times, our hygienists and periodontists will use a perioscope to aid them in the visualization and removal of calculus (tartar) from the teeth.

What do the procedures entail?

We will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, we 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 teeth surfaces are 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 (a.k.a. Cavitron or Piezo scaler). The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver sterile water 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.
scaling and root planing
scaling and root planing


When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult 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.

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 shown that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body. Scaling and root planning can help remove bacteria that can have systemic implications.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 4mm 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 that destroys additional gingival (gum) 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 by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will also be removed during scaling and planing.

Call Dallas Office Phone Number 214-691-2404 to schedule an appointment.