Root Planing & Scaling


Scaling and Root Planing is intended to provide a healthy tissue environment in which tissues re-adapt to normal tooth surfaces. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of calculus, plaque, and stain on the crowns and root surfaces of teeth. It can begin as localized gingival inflammation and progress to serious disease that result in major damage to the soft tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. Left untreated, this disease progresses to the ultimate loss of teeth. In periodontal disease, gingival tissue may detach (pull away) from teeth, and periodontal pockets form.


After the thorough cleaning of the tooth surface has been completed above and below the gum line, the root of the tooth undergoes a process called planing. This is a process of smoothing the root of the tooth so that any remaining tartar is removed. This also serves two other purposes: it clears away any rough areas that bacteria below the gum line thrive in, and it makes it much easier for the gingival (gum) tissue to re-attach itself to the tooth, effectively reducing the size of the pockets that the plaque and bacteria hide in. This re-growth of tissue is key in stopping a recurrence of gum disease and happens very quickly once the calculus has been removed.


This process can be done above or below the gum line and involves the scraping and removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from the tooth. Scaling done at regular teeth cleanings usually involves the crown of the tooth. However, in more extreme circumstances, it is necessary to go further below the gum line to thoroughly remove disease-causing bacteria and its by-products on the root surface. In very advanced cases, flap surgery or gingivectomy may be necessary to allow the doctor free access to the infected tooth root.


Periodontal maintenance is the procedures and protocols employed to clean and maintain the teeth and gums following a diagnosis and stabilization treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease in not ‘cured’, only ‘arrested’. The procedures may appear to the patient to be very similar to a regular cleaning, but because the dentist or hygienist must now evaluate, instrument, and monitor the tissues differently and quite often more frequently, the procedures must be differentiated.

Dr. Wolbaum is highly skilled and trained to provide a variety of dental services. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure you receive the best possible care.  Our office is located in Aurora, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.  Pioneer Hills Dental offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Call for your appointment today at  (303) 223-0403. We look forward to meeting you and your family!