Scaling and root planing is the most common treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. The process consists of scaling or removing tartar and plaque from the tooth surfaces; dentists target the area below the gum line, along the root.
Because plaque is likely to stick to rough surfaces, the root surface is made smooth in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining tartar and smooths irregular areas of the root surface. The majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy every 2-3 months to keep their mouth healthy.