Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling refers to cleaning of the teeth and gums. Scaling the root of the teeth refers to using specialized instruments to clean tartar (Calculus) below (sub-gingivally) and above (supra-gingivally) the gums. Scaling can be completed using hand instruments with specific shapes and sizes to access different surfaces of the tooth root and/or Ultrasonic instruments, which use ultra-sonic vibrations in combination with a water jet stream to remove and clean tartar below the gums. Root planning is a similar however slightly different procedure. Root planning refers to the modification of the root surface of the tooth to smooth the root surface. By smoothing the root surface the root is less likely to have “rough” attachment points for bacteria and calculus (Tartar).