Surgical Cleaning of Root Surfaces (Scaling and Root Planing)

Root planing is a method of treating gum disease. When having gum disease, inflammation of the tissues will lead to separation of gum from the root surface, which creates a tiny space known as a periodontal pocket. It can be very difficult to keep clean and allows bacteria to accumulate. Root planing is the meticulous cleaning of root surfaces to remove dental plaque and calculus.


To remove the dental plaque and calculus on the root surface inside a periodontal pocket in order to get rid of the bacteria that cause gum disease. It helps to reduce inflammation and allows the gum diseases to be recovered.

Procedures for root planing

People with gum disease need to receive treatments of scaling and root planing. Before carrying out treatment, the periodontist will use a periodontal probe and take radiographs to confirm the severity of gum disease. The periodontist will also let the involved area be numbed by using anaesthesia to reduce discomfort during treatment. Dental instruments will be used to remove the plaque and calculus on root surface in the periodontal pocket.

If needed, the periodontist may perform periodontal surgery that flips the gum, exposing the root surface. Then the periodontist can clean the root surface with direct vision.

After treatment notes

In the first few days after root planing, it is common to have mild discomfort and mild bleeding from the gum. Keep on good oral hygiene, and the discomfort and bleeding will subside and the gum will become healthy again. Good oral hygiene is essential for gum healing after root planing.