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Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

Diagram of teeth getting root planingWhen your gums look dark red in color instead of their naturally pink hue after you brush or floss your teeth, you could be starting to show signs of periodontal disease. At City Smiles DC, we offer scaling and root planing (also known as deep periodontal cleaning) performed when gum pockets become more than 5 millimeters deep to restore the health of the gums and teeth, as well as prevent further problems. This is one of the best ways to prevent your gums from getting worse, and from seeing a serious decline in your oral health.

During a scaling and root planing treatment with our dentist, Dr. Stuart Ross, will remove the plaque and tartar from below the gumline. Then, he will do a planing treatment to smooth the area to prevent buildup. This treatment may be required several times before the patient sees improvement in the gums. If you would like to learn more about scaling and root planing as a periodontal treatment, please call and schedule a dental consultation at our Washington, DC office.


Scaling and root planing is performed in the dentist’s office with local anesthesia on the areas being treated and/or sedation to help the patient remain calm and comfortable. The dentist begins by using a manual scaling tool or an ultrasonic cleaner to reach all areas of the gum pocket and remove the plaque and tartar that has built up. Once the gum pocket is cleaned, the dentist will smooth or plane the surface of the tooth to minimize areas where plaque and tartar can become trapped. Once the gum pockets are clean and smooth, they can begin to heal and reattach properly to the tooth root.


After the scaling and root planing treatment, patients might have some inflammation or bleeding of the gums, but this should only last for a few days. Patients should continue or start a daily oral health care routine that includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and following any special instructions from the dentist. Patients should return in 2 – 4 months to have their gums re-checked by the dentist. A second treatment may be needed to fully restore the gums or the dentist may refer the patient to a periodontist for special treatment.


A scaling and root planing treatment fee are dependent on the extent of the procedure. Insurance may cover some or all of the cost and our front office will determine each patient’s coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.


Scaling and root planing can stop early signs of gum disease, including inflamed and bleeding gums, as well as bad breath and loose teeth. Our dentist, Dr. Stuart Ross, can catch these signs during an annual dental exam and treat the problem effectively with scaling and root planing treatment.

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City Smiles DC, 919 18th Street NW, Suite LL50, Washington, DC 20006 ~ (202) 223-6300 ~ ~ 11/27/2022 ~ Key Phrases: dentist Washington DC ~