South Shore Long Island
Periodontics & Implantology P.C.
Dr. Leslie G. Batnick, D.D.S.
Dr. Lois B. Levine, D.D.S.
Dr. Joo H. Kim, D.D.S.
Diplomates, American Board of Periodontology

Scaling & Root Planing (SRP)

In its earliest stages, periodontal disease can be controlled (and even reversed) with simple options like improving home hygiene or adding antimicrobial products to a patient’s home care routine. Once periodontal disease has passed a certain point, however, more intensive therapies are needed. One such therapy is scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing (which is often referred to as a “deep cleaning treatment”) is a nonsurgical therapy that controls the inflammation of the gums. Following this treatment, your gum tissue will be able to heal and reattach to the tooth.

Drs. Batnick, Levine, and Kim recommend scaling and root planing to patients whose disease status no longer allows proper clearing away of plaque during their home care regimens. Because every case is unique, we will customize treatment to each patient’s specific needs. We will also recommend follow-up visits to evaluate your healing and disease state following scaling and root planing and to recommend any appropriate additional therapy, if necessary.

What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?

The main goal of this procedure is to remove the plaque and tartar that are harboring the disease-causing bacteria below your gumline. This, of course, means that we need to be able to access the roots of your teeth.

Using specialized instruments, we are able to reach beneath your gums to sweep away the bacteria and other debris that has accumulated due to the infection. This part of the process is referred to as scaling.

During the root planing part of the process, we smooth out the surfaces of the roots. By removing the rough areas, we make it more difficult for bacteria to cling to the roots of your teeth and reinfect the area.

Before we are done, we may also place a time-release antibiotic in your gum pockets. This helps to destroy any lingering bacteria so that you can have a truly fresh start.

Do You Need This Treatment?

People who are candidates for a scaling and root planing treatment:

  • Have periodontal disease that has advanced past the earliest stages
  • Have periodontal disease that is not responding to improvements in home hygiene
  • Are experiencing gum recession or periodontal pockets that are more than 4 mm deep
  • May be experiencing the first stages of bone and connective tissue loss

By eliminating the disease at its source, we can stop the process and prevent further damage.

In most cases, scaling and root planing will be done before we recommend surgery. If the damage is too severe, however, surgery may be our best option. If this is true in your case, your periodontist will discuss your options with you. One of our goals is to educate you on your condition and provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions about your health.

Periodontal disease is a serious dental condition and requires treatment. Without treatment, gum disease is likely to cost you your teeth. It is also associated with other serious conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.