Scaling is the most common treatment for gum disease. Scaling is the removal of tartar and plaque that attach to tooth surfaces. The process targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Plaque is a sticky substance, full of bacteria, that forms on teeth and hardens over time.

Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, the root surface is made smooth in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining plaque and smoothes irregular areas of the root surface.

Typically, ultrasonic instruments are used first to remove large deposits of tartar from the crown and root of the teeth. Hand instruments are then used to remove any remaining material and make sure that the tooth surface is clean and smooth. Sometimes, scaling and root planing can be completed in one visit. This usually is possible if you have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. However, if you have periodontitis, multiple visits are usually needed.

PROPHY-JET is an air polishing prophylaxis system which uses air, water, and a sodium bicarbonate powder as a slurry to remove extrinsic stain, dental plaque and soft debris while simultaneously polishing tooth surfaces. Sodium bicarbonate is accepted by most patients and is both minimally abrasive and water soluble. Air polishing is a non-painful procedure which can effectively remove stains and improve the color of your teeth.