Is Root Planing and Scaling Treatment Right for You?

Is Root Planing and Scaling
Treatment Right for You?

If you experience bleeding when brushing or flossing, you may have gum disease. Gum disease can seriously damage your oral health, making it important to undergo treatment as soon as possible. Restorative dentistry treatments can repair the dental damage caused by gum disease. One procedure that can improve the health of your teeth and gums is root planing and scaling, which is also referred to as a deep cleaning. Learn more about root planing and scaling treatment in this overview from Seattle dentist Mark Caggiano.


Root planing and scaling treatment is a deep cleaning treatment used to restore the health of the gums. Root planing and scaling may be performed to close pockets, which can form between the gums and teeth as a result of plaque and tartar build-up. Pockets allow bacteria, plaque, tartar, and food debris to accumulate between the teeth and gums, eventually putting the patient at risk for tooth loss. If left untreated, pockets can cause decay at the tooth’s roots, painful abscesses, and tooth loss. Fortunately, root planing and scaling is highly effective at treating gum disease and closing pockets.


The root planing and scaling treatment process is relatively simple and, for many patients, can be completed in a single dental visit. Root planing and scaling begins with the use of a local anesthetic to numb the gums and keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. When the gums are fully numbed, a dental scraping tool or ultrasonic tool (or combination of the two) is used to gently scrape away built-up plaque and tartar from the teeth. The teeth are cleaned along and below the gum line, down to the tooth roots. A water irrigation system is used throughout the cleaning to flush away loosened debris. Patients with advanced gum disease and large pockets may have antibiotic fibers placed between the teeth and gums to help prevent infection during the healing process. If antibiotic fibers are placed, they will require an additional dental visit in which the fibers are removed about seven days after treatment.


Gum disease can return even after root planing and scaling treatment. To prevent gum disease from returning, it is important to follow your dentist’s post-treatment instructions, including practicing proper oral hygiene. Here are some recovery and aftercare tips:

  • Avoid hard, crunchy foods and foods with small seeds, all of which can irritate the gums as they heal
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, combined with light pressure, in the first few days after treatment
  • Always brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to prevent pockets from reforming


If you suffer from gum disease, or believe you suffer from gum disease, root planing and scaling treatment may be right for you. To find out more about root planing and scaling, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Caggiano today.

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For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.



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