Commonly called a "deep scaling" or a "deep cleaning," this is our most common treatment used in returning patients to periodontal health. Its goal is to completely and thoroughly clean out all the plaque and calculus (tartar) off of the tooth surface and out of the periodontal pocket. If successful, and if followed up by effective home care by the patient, health can be restored in the vast majority of patients. This procedure requires therapists who have high levels of skill and experience to be successful. Dr. Melnyk and his staff have utilized these skills almost every day since 1988 and have achieved thousands of successful results.
Since patient comfort is a primary objective in our office, patients are usually carefully numbed with local anesthesia for these treatments. Scaling/root planing is typically completed in two visits. An attempt is made to complete both visits as close together as possible to help prevent re-infection of the treated side by the still infected side. Patients are typically able to function normally after each of these visits.
If scaling/root planing effectively cleans out a pocket, the pocket will usually close. If scaling/root planing fails to clean out the plaque and tartar from the depths of a pocket (there are limits as to how deep a pocket we can predictably manage), then the pocket will not close. The gum will still likely bleed when measured (probed) and may still have pus or drainage present. In most cases, it is as simple as that. In an attempt to manage such pockets, a variety of adjunctive or additional treatments have been touted, typically by the manufacturers of the products used in these adjunctive of treatments.