Scaling and Root Planing in Highland Park, NJ

Our Highland Park Dentist Can Heal Your Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene is one of the many factors that play into tooth loss due to plaque and tartar buildup. If you’re suffering from mild to moderate gum disease, we can help.

At Zen Dental of Highland Park, Dr. Yan Gu and our dental team can help protect your gum health with scaling and root planing treatment. Learn all about this effective treatment below.

What Is Scaling & Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is a non-surgical dental procedure used to treat gum disease. It involves removing the plaque and tartar build-up from below the gum line and smoothing out the tooth root to prevent further bacterial growth.

The Benefits of Scaling & Root Planing

For those showing signs of early-stage gum disease, scaling and root planing can provide you with the following benefits: 

  • Prevents gum disease from progressing
  • Reduces the risk of tooth loss
  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Improves overall oral health
  • Can save you money on future dental treatments

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

Scaling and root planing are necessary when there’s an excessive build-up of plaque and tartar that has caused gum inflammation, bleeding, and even bone loss. Dr. Gu may recommend a deep cleaning if you’re experiencing:

  • Moderate to severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
  • A significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums.
  • Bleeding, inflammation, and gum recession.
  • Deep pockets between the teeth and gums have formed due to gum disease.
  • Shifted teeth.

How Periodontal Disease Progresses

Plaque and tartar accumulating on teeth create an environment where bacteria can thrive and reproduce. The bacteria cause the gums to inflame and bleed, which becomes noticeable when brushing your teeth or eating. These are early signs of gingivitis. 

Gingivitis is a disease that can cause significant tooth and gum damage if left untreated. The good news is that gingivitis is easily treated by a hygienist who will clean and polish the teeth.

The Scaling and Root Planing Process


Scaling involves removing calculus and plaque that adhere to the tooth’s surface. The primary focus of this treatment is the area beneath the gum line, where the tooth is most vulnerable. Our Highland Park dentist uses an ultrasonic cleaning tool that cleans near the tooth root to ensure precision and efficiency.

As part of the scaling process, we use an irrigation device that removes infection or plaque while simultaneously injecting an antimicrobial agent. This helps prevent further infection and supports the natural healing process of the gums.

Root Planing

Root planing involves the removal of cementum and surface dentin that’s embedded in tartar. Tartar contains harmful microorganisms and toxins that need removal. After the tartar removal, Dr. Gu will smoothen the tooth’s root to promote healing and prevent bacterial growth.

In some cases, Dr. Gu may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets following scaling and root planing to protect against infection and facilitate healing. However, if the pockets between teeth and gums are too deep, it may not be possible to eliminate all plaque and tartar with preventative measures alone. In such instances, our dentist may suggest a root canal procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I care for my teeth after a scaling and root planing procedure?
A: After your scaling and root planing treatment, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Follow a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash as prescribed by your dentist.
  • Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for a few days.
  • Attend regular dental check-ups to monitor your oral health.

Q: How long do scaling and root planing take?
A: On average, scaling and root planing only take one appointment. The procedure can last an average of one hour or two, eliminating gum disease with minimal inconvenience. Depending on the severity of your case, the procedure may take longer and require more appointments. Your dentist will provide an accurate treatment timeline during your consultation. 

Q: How often do you need scaling and root planing?
A: In general, one scaling and root planing treatment are enough to clear out your bacterial infection and get your oral health back on track. With a proper oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist, you can protect yourself against the infection returning. As soon as your gum disease returns, you need to get treatment before it becomes more difficult to treat.

Save Your Smile at Zen Dental of Highland Park

Don’t let your periodontal disease go untreated. With scaling and root planing, we can save your smile’s appearance and restore your gum health. Call our Highland Park office at (732) 777-9077 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gu. 

You can also request an appointment online by clicking the button below, and one of our staff members will get back to you. We’re proud to provide the highest quality dental procedures in Highland Park and surrounding areas like Bound Brook, Metuchen, and North Brunswick Township, NJ.

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