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Scaling and Root Planing
Lilburn, GA


Diagram of teeth getting root planingWhen you come in to Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center for a professional cleaning, Dr. Schiffer will scale your gums and teeth, scraping off plaque and tartar. He will also polish your teeth to eliminate stains and smooth out their surfaces. But if your teeth show signs of gum disease, we might need to employ scaling and root planing.

When is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?


Also called deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment. It is viewed as the most effective method of preventing periodontal disease. When gum tissue is healthy, it fits snugly around each tooth, with about 1 to 3 millimeters between the top of the gumline to where it connects to the tooth. Plaque and tartar that grow under and close to the gums will harm gum tissue that your teeth rely on for support.

Some of the symptoms of advanced gum disease include:
•  Pockets in the gums deeper than 4 mm
•  Bad breath
•  Heavy buildup of tartar

If you experience any of these complications, we may need to consider scaling and root planing.

Preventing Gum Disease


Because gum disease usually does not cause pain or discomfort, you might not even know you have it until it reaches an advanced phase. Come in for regular exams so we can catch conditions like this early.

Home care is also essential. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once a day. If the bristles of your brush get worn out, get a new one. We also suggest eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking (if you do smoke), and using antimicrobial mouthwash.

What is the Scaling and Root Planing Procedure?


Scaling and root planing resembles extracting a splinter from an infected area. The procedure may take more than one appointment, and we often use a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort.

The procedure has us meticulously scale all the plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the root surfaces and teeth. Next comes root planing, where Dr. Schiffer will smooth out every rough surface of the roots. When the roots have rough spots, it’s easier for bacteria and plaque to gain a foothold, hence the need to smooth them out.

Recovery Period


Scaling and root planing is proven to treat periodontal disease effectively. But the treatment may not end once you leave our office, so we must follow up properly. After we finish the procedure, we will ask you to return to our office to see how the healing is progressing.

In many a case, gums that are red and inflamed will turn pink and firm following the procedure, with smaller pockets and reduced bleeding. If your treatment goes this way, we won’t have to do anything else. If you have an advanced stage of periodontal disease, we may need to employ surgery to prevent the loss of more bone.

Most of the time, scaling and root planing should reduce how much future surgery you may need. Either way, we may still ask you to come in for maintenance appointments every 2 to 4 months, during which we’ll measure the extent of your gum recession and pocket depth, along with doing routine cleaning.

For more information, please contact our office at (470) 222-8983.

Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center


Dr. Melody J. Schiffer &
Dr. M. Forest Butler



(470) 222-8983

320 Killian Hill Road NW
Lilburn, GA 30047-3809


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