What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and Root Planing is a two-part therapeutic procedure designed to remove bacterial deposits from below the gum line. Scaling is done with an ultrasonic instrument to remove tartar, plaque, and biofilm from the tooth surface up to the gum line. Root planing involves the smoothing of the tooth root to help the gums reattach to the tooth. It is important to smooth, or plane, the roots of the teeth to eliminate the crevices that would accumulate toxic microorganisms. It is a very detailed procedure done with local anesthetic. In many cases, our patients elect to take an oral sedative before coming to the root planing appointment. By using these medicines, our patients commonly have minimal discomfort and anxiety in conjunction with this treatment.scaling_and_root_planing

Laser Scaling And Root Planing

Dr. Arastu is proud to offer the latest technology available for periodontal therapy, including laser treatment. The procedure is very similar to traditional SRP therapy with the additional benefits that accompany using a laser handpiece.

Adjunctive Therapy

In addition to a scaling and root planing (SRP) or even a maintenance appointment, the use of an antibiotic or prescription mouth rinse may be recommended.


Arestin is an antibiotic that encourages the reduction of periodontal pocket depth. It is a powder that contains microspheres which are tiny, microscopic particles that are filled with the antibiotic minocycline. These microspheres release minocycline into the pocket to kill the bacteria present over a 14-day span. According to an article published by The American Academy of Periodontology in the Journal of Periodontology, the addition of minocycline microspheres to an SRP decreased the amount of bacteria present, pocket depth, and bleeding while probing, when compared to an SRP alone (Grossi, et. al, 2007).

After Your Appointment

One week after the SRP procedure an oral hygiene instruction appointment will be made. At this appointment, our dental assistants will go over the proper care needed to ensure proper oral health. Four to six weeks after this therapy our patients return for a reevaluation. A reevaluation is an examination to determine the gum disease level after completing the root planing. Often, other forms of gum therapy follow the reevaluation.