Patient Education

Scaling and Root Planing

The objective of scaling and root planing, otherwise known as conventional periodontal therapy or non-surgical periodontal therapy, is to remove or eliminate the etiologic agents which cause inflammation: dental plaque, its products and calculus,[1] thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.[2]
Periodontal scaling procedures "include the removal of plaque, calculus and stain from the crown and root surfaces of teeth, whereas root planing is a specific treatment that removes the roughened cementum and surface dentin that is impregnated with calculus, microorganisms and their toxins."[2]
Scaling and root planing are often referred to as deep cleaning, and may be performed using a number of dental tools, including ultrasonic instruments and hand instruments, such as periodontal scalers and curettes.
Removal of adherent plaque and calculus with hand instruments can also be performed on patients without periodontal disease. This treatment would then be referred to as a prophylaxis (a cleaning, although literally it means "prevention") or a prophy for short. Sometimes this device may be electric, known as an ultrasonic or sonic scaler. At present, there is inadequate research evidence to claim that periodic pre-emptive scaling reduces the incidence of periodontal disease.[3]
Sonic and ultrasonic scalers are powered by a system that causes the tip to vibrate. Sonic scalers are typically powered by an air-driven turbine. Ultrasonic scalers typically use either magnetostrictive or piezoelectric systems to create vibration. Magnetostrictive scalers use a stack of metal plates bonded to the tool tip. The stack is induced to vibrate by an external coil connected to an AC source. Many ultrasonic scalers also include a liquid output or lavage, which aids in cooling the tool during use. The lavage can also be used to deliver antimicrobial agents. (Info taken from Wikipedia.com)

Return to Patient Education



Since 1964 we've been providing services that exceed expectations through a caring and accommodating ethic.

Our experienced team of doctors will provide you with the best dental care available.

  • Dearborn, MI
    (313) 274-8522
  • Farmington Hills, MI
    (248) 851-1034
  • Wyandotte, MI
    (734) 281-1414
  • Milford, MI
    (248) 685-9449