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Scaling And Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

Eugenia Prokopets, DDS, MSD

Periodontist located in Chevy Chase, MD

A diagnosis of gum disease often requires Eugenia Prokopets, DDS, MSD, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to perform a special procedure called scaling and root planing. As the gold standard in treating chronic periodontitis, deep cleanings of this type are more comprehensive than regular bi-annual cleanings. To find out if this procedure is appropriate for you, call or make an appointment online today. We serve the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia region.

Scaling & Root Planing Q & A

How are scaling and root planing done?

Dr. Prokopets performs this procedure in two parts after numbing your gums with a local anesthetic.


Scaling allows Dr. Prokopets to remove plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line. To do so, Dr. Prokopets uses ultrasonic and manual instruments. The ultrasonic device uses sonic vibrations to eliminate plaque bacteria, tartar, and biofilm from the surface of your teeth and under your gum line. Dr. Prokopets then uses a manual instrument to remove any remaining debris.

Root planing

Once she completes the scaling, Dr. Prokopets begins smoothing the roots of your teeth to help decrease inflammation and make it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth. It’s common for this procedure to take more than one visit to complete.

Why are scaling and root planing done?

A thorough cleaning of your teeth is vital to oral health because plaque is always forming, and these bacteria often cause gum irritation. When untreated, gum irritation leads to the gums pulling away from the teeth. And these spaces, called pockets, form and trap the plaque.

Regular brushing doesn’t remove the plaque trapped in the pockets, causing gum disease. If left untreated, bone and tooth loss occurs.

Bi-annual professional cleanings performed by a dental hygienist usually eliminates this problem.

What happens after scaling and root planing?

After your deep cleaning with Dr. Prokopets, expect your gums to feel tender and swollen. Bleeding is common, the pain diminishes after one or two days, and sensitivity lasts up to one week.

A follow-up appointment allows Dr. Prokopets to check on how your gums heal and the status of your pockets. The expectation is that your red, swollen gum tissue become firm and pink again, reducing bleeding and decreasing the size of your pockets. Dr. Prokopets offers additional treatment if your gums fail to respond.

Scheduling maintenance visits is a good idea, by alternating between Dr. Prokopets and your general dentist every two to four months. At these appointments, expect to receive routine cleanings, careful examination of your gum tissue, and measurements of both your pocket depths and gum recession.

Proper oral hygiene also helps eliminate plaque and tartar buildup.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease and require scaling and root planing, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Eugenia Prokopets in Chevy Chase, Maryland.