As bacteria in your mouth forms a sticky film (plaque) on teeth and gums, if not removed, this film will harden into a crust (tartar, also called calculus). A buildup of plaque and tartar can cause periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to pain, gum damage, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Scaling and root planing is a special type of cleaning done by a dentist or hygienist. This cleaning comfortably removes plaque and tartar and will restore the health of your teeth and gums.
Scaling and root planing removes plaque and tartar from below your gum line. This controls the growth of harmful bacteria. It also helps gums re-attach firmly to the teeth. Because this procedure goes deeper than a regular cleaning, your mouth will be numbed. The cleaning normally takes two visits to complete. Three weeks later your mouth is re-evaluated and polished. Periodontal patients are placed on a maintenance schedule where they are seen 3 or 4 times a year.