Professional Dental Cleaning. During a typical checkup your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, we may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice-a-year.
Scaling and Root Planing. This is a deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure, that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Scaling and root planing is done if your dentist or periodontist determines that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.
Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.