Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal Disease

Bacteria in your mouth form a sticky film (plaque) on teeth and gums. If not removed, this hardens into a crust (tartar). The bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause an infection called periodontal disease. This can lead to pain, gum damage, bone loss, and even tooth loss.

Scaling and root planing is a special type of cleaning done by a general dentist, dental hygienist, or periodontist (dentist specializing in gum and bone problems). This cleaning removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gums. This helps restore health to your gums and teeth.

Healthy Gums

In a healthy mouth, gums are firm. Firm, healthy gums protect teeth and bone.

Infected Gums

Infected gums bleed, swell, and recede (pull away) from teeth. Teeth may loosen and become sensitive as the bone that anchors them is lost. In advanced stages, teeth may fall out.

periodontal disease graphic

Your Evaluation

Lockhart Dentistry will look at your gums for color changes, bleeding swelling, and recession. Your teeth are checked for looseness and sensitivity. Full mouth x-rays show if there is bone loss around your teeth. You may be asked about your health to see if a medical condition, like diabetes, is contributing to your periodontal disease.

Periodontal Probing

Periodontal probing helps measure how advanced your disease is. During probing, a tool (probe) measures the depth of space (called the pocket) between the tooth and the surrounding gum. The deeper the pocket, the more severe the problem.

periodontal probe graphic

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Scaling and root planing removes plaque and tartar from below your gum line. This controls the growth of harmful bacteria. It also helps gums reattach firmly to your teeth. Because this procedure goes deeper than a regular cleaning, your mouth may be numbed. The cleaning may take 1 to 4 or more visits to complete.


Scaling is a type of cleaning. It removes plaque and tartar from around and below the gum line.

Root planing involves scraping and smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth. Gum tissue can more firmly reattach to roots that are clean and smooth.

After Your Procedure

Your mouth may feel sore and tender after treatment. Keep brushing and flossing your teeth after each meal. Your dentist may tell you to rinse with warm saltwater every few hours. Pain medication may be suggested if you need it. Ask your dentist if you should use an antibacterial rinse.


Lockhart Dentistry
8202 Clearvista Parkway, Suite 4C
Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: (317) 849-9715
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Monday: 8AM-5PM
Tuesday: 8AM-6PM
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 8AM-5PM
Friday: 8AM-1PM



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