Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing (SRP) are relatively non-invasive deep cleaning procedures used to treat gum disease. This nonsurgical procedure involves scraping away (scaling) plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline and smoothing out rough spots (planing) on the tooth root.

In addition to this procedure, a small chip, called a PerioChip, may be placed by your hygienist to provide a direct line of treatment for gum disease. Scaling and root planing are considered to be the “gold standard” treatment for gum disease. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.

Common Signs That You May Need Scaling and Root Planing

Your dentist may recommend teeth scaling and root planing if your mouth has signs of gum disease. Signs of gum disease include red and puffy gums that bleed easily when you brush your teeth. Other signs include:

It is possible to have gum disease and not notice any signs or symptoms, so regular visits to a dental professional are important. The only way to determine if scaling and root planing is the right procedure for you is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.

How To Prevent Needing Scaling and Root Planing

Good oral hygiene is the key to prevent gingivitis from progressing to gum disease. Remember to brush twice a day to remove any stains from food and to remove plaque. Floss once a day to remove any buildup between your teeth. Having a professional cleaning by your dentist every 3-6 months will also greatly contribute to a healthy smile. Your dentist can recommend a suitable brush and mouthwash for you to use.

Who Performs Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing can be done at your dentist’s office by a dental hygienist, or, in some circumstances, a periodontist. It often takes more than one dental visit and could require a local anesthetic based on the severity of your chronic gum disease and if you have receding gums. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.