Periodontal scaling procedures “include the removal of plaque, calculus and stain from the crown and root surfaces of teeth. Root planing is a specialized skill involving scaling of the root of the tooth, made up of cementum. Because cementum is softer than enamel, it is affected more by ongoing build-up and inflammatory byproducts. A smooth cementum provides less opportunity for bacteria to accumulate and form calculus. Root planing is an important part of stopping the progression of periodontal disease, especially once deeper pockets have formed in the gums, which is really in the bone. Thus, root planing is a specific treatment that removes the roughened cementum and surface dentin that is impregnated with calculus, microorganisms and their toxins.
The objective for periodontal scaling and root planing is to remove etiologic agents which can cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone. Common etiologic agents removed by periodontal therapy include dental plaque and tartar (calculus). Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective periodontal methods of treating gum disease before it becomes severe.