Gum disease, which is also called periodontitis, is when the bone around teeth is affected by inflammation of the gums. Scaling and root planing are the most effective ways to prevent and treat gum disease. This process cleans between the gums and teeth down to the roots. Scaling and root planing is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. These deeper cleanings are usually more comfortably treated while the teeth and gums are numb.
Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand; however, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.