Scaling & Root Planing

Dr. Goulds practice provides a variety of non-surgical services. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are very conservative in our treatment recommendations and limit surgery only to the areas where it is absolutely necessary.

Many times, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy (also called Scaling and Root Planing). Even in severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also to help limit the areas requiring surgery.

Scaling and Root Planning

The initial stage of treatment for Periodontal Disease is usually a deep cleaning (also called scaling and root planing) that includes scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gum line. The tooth roots are smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. Scaling and root planing is only performed on your teeth with deep pockets (where the bacterial infection has caused the tooth and the gum to separate from one another). Once a deep pocket forms on a tooth it is impossible to keep the area below the gumline clean. As a result, the bacterial infection continues to eat away at the bone around the tooth causing further destruction and deeper pocketing to occur. If left untreated, your teeth will eventually become loose and fall out, or require extraction.

Scaling and root planing is almost always completed under local anesthesia (ie. using novacaine) to keep you completely comfortable during the procedure while permitting the hygienist to do a thorough job. Oral antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that cause periodontal (gum) disease.

Following scaling and root planing you will continue to maintain your teeth with specific brushing and flossing techniques. Six to eight weeks later we will re-examine your mouth and evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure. This is the most important appointment of the non-surgical phase of periodontal treatment. If deep pockets and infection still exist in select areas, more advanced therapies (eg. Periodontal surgery) will often be required to treat the infection and help you keep your teeth.