As tarter builds up on your teeth, it causes decay and provides a haven for harmful bacteria. Below the gumline, this bacteria harboring tartar is very hard to reach yourself can lead to gum disease. If you’re seeing the early effects of gum disease, the Boston periodontist at CITIDental High Street can perform a deep cleaning under your gums called scaling and root planing, which can often reverse the damage caused by the infection.

Scaling and root planing, also called conventional periodontal therapy or dental deep cleaning, is a non-invasive process in which tartar and plaque is carefully scoured from the teeth, usually by a periodontist like Dr. O’Connor. Scaling generally refers to thoroughly cleaning the visible surfaces of the teeth, while root planing occurs below the gum line, in the periodontal pockets. The roots of your teet are polished to a smooth surface that allows gum tissue to reattach and guard against further infection. Together, scaling and root planing can halt the progression of gum disease, removing a major source of bacteria from the mouth and relieving the irritation of the gums, making this a major step in the treatment of gingival infection.


Any tartar buildup must eventually be removed by a professional, but this becomes especially urgent when you are suffering from gum disease. If your gums are red, swollen, or tender, if they bleed easily, if they seem to be receding or pulling away from your teeth, or if your teeth have become loose or increasingly sensitive, these are signs of gum disease which you should get checked right away. CITIDental High Street offers exams and consultations to help you know what steps to take to improve your dental health, including scaling and root planing. Because our staff includes a periodontist, we are able to offer you specialized care not available at most Boston dentists’ offices.


When you come in for your scaling and root planing, you will be given a local anesthetic to ensure you are comfortable through the process. Our periodontist, Dr. O’Connor, will clean the tartar from your teeth using tools specially designed for this task. This will involve careful scraping to remove the built up tartar from your teeth without damaging your enamel. Dr. O’Connor may use an ultrasonic scaler to aid the process, as it can both remove calculus deposits quickly and create air bubbles which kill the harmful bacteria in the periodontal pockets. It is very important to completely clean the affected areas to get rid of the infection and allow the gums to heal. Afterward, you may find that your gums are tender from the scrubbing and may even bleed temporarily. This is common, but will resolve quickly. Typically an over-the-counter analgesic is enough to handle any discomfort. Depending on the extent of your calculus build up and the depth of your periodontal pockets, this procedure can usually be completed in one or two visits.


At CITIDental High Street, we are dedicated to excellence in comprehensive oral health and dental care services. Our goal is to meet all your needs with the talents and skills of different specialties in one office – that is what comprehensive means. We offer a complete range of cosmetic services, preventive care, and restorative care right in the heart of the financial district. Contact us today for an appointment.

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