Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are deep-cleaning services that many patients have never heard of by the time they visit our practice. Dr. LaRock regularly educates patients on the value of these particular treatments and how they help control the effects of gum disease. 

Depending on what stage you start treatment and how committed you are to dental hygiene, you may be able to reverse or at least halt the effects. Periodontal disease often leaves patients feeling self-conscious or intimidated by the treatments needed, so we aim to make our scaling and root planing as comfortable as possible through honest care with integrity.

When Are Scaling and Root Planing Needed?

While they are not interchangeable, both scaling and planing are similar deep cleaning services used for the same condition. Both treatments aim to remove plaque that has hardened on the teeth under the gum line. This plaque can’t be removed with brushing alone, especially once the gum tissue covers it. The infection uses this plaque to reach the spaces around the tooth roots, creating inflammation that affects your long-term health.

Scaling and planing are both used when a patient presents to Dr. LaRock with gum disease. By cleaning under the gum line carefully and removing any lingering plaque, we can stop the cycle of inflammation and infection and stop the condition from progressing.

How Do Scaling and Root Planing Differ?

Scaling is generally used before root planing, although it may be all you need if you still have a mild stage of periodontal disease. This process involves cleaning under the gum line and removing plaque clinging to the tooth’s surface. When this is completed, the dentist may also want to complete root planing as a more advanced treatment.

Root planing involves smoothing down the roots of the teeth deep below the gumline so plaque has a harder time attaching in the future. For patients with more severe forms of periodontal disease and deep pockets around the roots, planing can make all the difference between losing or saving teeth. 

While it’s a little more advanced and complex than a basic dental cleaning, our team works hard to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible. It’s not uncomfortable for most of our patients, and both treatments have the potential to prevent a lot of long-term inflammation and pain when completed on time.

What Happens After Root Planing or Scaling?

Your journey to defeat gum disease doesn’t end with these treatments. While they are powerful tools in the fight against periodontal disease, they aren’t a finish line. Instead, you’ll need to commit to regular visits to keep up with professional cleanings so that plaque can’t return to cause the same problem. Depending on the severity of the disease, you may need to visit every two to three months rather than every six months, at least at first.

Let the LaRock Dental team in Manchester help you find the right schedule for treatment so your gum disease doesn’t worsen and reverses as much as possible.

Request An Appointment Today

If you’re looking for compassionate and quality dental care in Manchester, MI, you can rely on LaRock Dental and the caring team under Dr. LaRock.


We Love Hearing From Our Patients


Front desk staff, dental hygienist and doctors were pleasant and professional.

– Gerald M.

“My hygienist was amazing and dentist was excellent. Highly recommend!”

– Brent L.

“Great small town practice with a caring staff.”

– Michael B.