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Scaling and Root Planing
Dentist in Portland

A depiction of scaling and root planing therapy at Geelan Dental Care in downtown Portland.Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is caused by an accumulation of a yellowish biofilm known as plaque. Plaque is a naturally-occurring film of bacteria that starts forming after you eat. If this plaque isn’t cleaned well with brushing and flossing, it can harden into calculus, which cannot be easily removed at home, allowing infectious bacteria to wreak havoc in your mouth.

At Geelan Dental Care, Aron Geelan, DMD and can recommend treatment options to fight infectious bacteria so that they can lose their hold on your teeth and gums.

If gum disease is caught in its early stage, we can effectively treat it with a simple deep cleaning procedure. If the bacterial plaque has reached deep into your gum pockets, a procedure involving scaling and root planing will be required.

Signs You May Need Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing may be required if there are deep pockets between your gums and teeth, resulting in attachment loss and gum recession. In healthy teeth, the pockets between the gums and teeth are about 1mm to 3 mm deep. If the pockets are deeper than that, you may have active periodontal disease. It also means you will not be able to reach the deeply embedded plaque in your gum pockets with your toothbrush or floss. Hence, professional dental intervention is required.

Aside from gum pockets, there are other indications of gum disease, including:
•  Swollen, inflammend, and bleeding gums
•  Gums that bleed with the slightest aggravation
•  Receded gums that expose tooth root
•  Bad breath or halitosis
•  Pus on gums and in between teeth
•  A foul taste in the mouth
•  Loose and shifting permanent teeth
•  Change in your bite

What to Expect During a Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

At Geelan Dental Care, Aron Geelan, DMD and will first take x-rays and examine your mouth to determine the extent and complexity of the disease, including how much calculus need to be removed, the depth of your gum pockets, and the damage to your gums and bone. We will then administer a local anesthesia so that the patient may stay pain-free and comfortable during the procedure.


Scaling is performed to remove the hardened tartar and calculus from the surface of the teeth, in between the gaps in the teeth, and below the gumline along the roots of the teeth. A special equipment called an ultrasound scaler is used to shake loose larger bits of tartar from the mouth. We will also deliver an antimicrobial rinse to wash away the debris and reduce oral bacteria.

Root Planing

Root planing is performed to remove the cementum and surface dentin from the tooth root which is embedded with tartar, bacteria, and toxins. The tooth roots are smoothed down so that bacteria may not find purchase on it and cannot colonize on the surface in the future.

Antibacterial Medication

In some cases, we may place time-release antibiotic medication inside your periodontal pockets which can help fight future bacterial invasion effectively and accelerate healing. We may also prescribe some topical medication for your gums. If the procedure is successful, your gums will heal and adhere tightly to your tooth root again, protecting your teeth from sensitivity and bacterial infection and you will be able to regain your normal smile. However, if your gum disease is more advanced, scaling and root planing may not be effective on its own and you may require surgical intervention to stop gum and bone loss.

Periodontal Maintenance

After a gum disease treatment, we may also recommend following periodontal maintenance visits in the next few months. Gum disease is chronic and it can only be managed if effective treatment is provided regularly. Oral bacteria can repopulate your mouth in as little as two months which is why Aron Geelan, DMD and may recommend periodontal maintenance sessions every two to four months. These visits will involve careful evaluation of your gum health, measurement of gum pockets and recession, and more treatment to eliminate bacteria.

If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t wait for it to get worse. Call us today at (971) 323-1990 to schedule an appointment with us.

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Scaling and Root Planing • Dentist downtown Portland • Geelan Dental Care
At Geelan Dental Care, Aron Geelan, DMD can recommend treatment options to fight infectious bacteria such as scaling and root planing. Learn more here!
Geelan Dental Care, 5320 S Macadam Ave Suite #100, Portland, OR 97239; (971) 323-1990;; 9/4/2023; Related Phrases: dentist Downtown Portland;