Scaling and root planing, otherwise known as conventional periodontal therapy, non-surgical periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning, is the process of removing or eliminating the etiologic agents - dental plaque, its products, and calculus - which cause inflammation, thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.
Plaque is a structured resilient yellow-grayish substance that adheres tenaciously to the tooth surfaces including removable and fixed restorations. It is an organised bio-film that contains primarily bacteria in a matrix of glycoprotelns and extracellular polysaccharides. This matrix makes it impossible to remove the plaque by rinsing or using sprays. Materia alba is similar to plaque but it lacks the organized structure of plaque and hence easily displaced with rinses and sprays. When this plaque gets mineralized it forms Into calculus. Calculus is thus the hard deposit formed by mineralization usually covered by a layer of unmineralized plaque.
The objective for periodontal scaling and root planing is to remove etiologic agents which can cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone. Common etiologic agents removed by periodontal therapy include dental plaque and tartar (calculus). Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective periodontal methods of treating gum disease before it becomes severe.