Scaling/Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

Gingivitis marks the beginning of periodontal disease, and describes inflammation in the gums caused by excessive oral bacteria buildup (in the form of plaque and tartar). Because gingivitis occurs underneath the gums, routine dental cleaning won’t suffice to treat it. Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Then, your periodontist will smooth the roots of your teeth underneath the gums to discourage further oral bacteria buildup.

As plaque and tartar accumulate on the roots, the buildup and resulting inflammation cause your gum tissues to recede slightly from your teeth. This creates deepening periodontal pockets where oral bacteria can continue to gather and multiply, worsening the infection and inflammation. Periodontal cleaning helps stop the infection by removing the films of plaque and tartar from your roots (scaling), and then smoothing their surfaces (planing) to inhibit bacterial buildup as your gums heal.

In cases where gum disease has already developed, scaling and root planing should be followed by a strict schedule of checkups, cleanings, and periodontal maintenance. Your periodontist can prescribe appropriate treatment options, such as gingival grafting or pocket reduction surgery, to fortify your compromised tissues so you can recover from gum disease.

Will scaling and root planing help me reverse gum disease?

In many cases, gingivitis can be reversed with scaling and root planing (known as deep cleaning) and a strict routine of good hygiene and preventative dental care. However, if the condition progresses into periodontitis, then it might no longer be reversible, and will have to be controlled through regular periodontal maintenance.

What is the cost of scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)?

The average cost of scaling and root planing is $200 per quadrant or higher depending on the dentist. But with a general dentist in Doctors Network, the cost is $75 per quadrant.