“This procedure involves instrumentation of the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove deposits and is therapeutic, not prophylactic, in nature. Root planing is the definitive procedure designed to remove plaque and calculus from these surfaces. It is indicated for patients with periodontal disease and is for the removal of cementum and dentin that is rough, and/or permeated by calculus or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms.
Periodontal procedures are, for the most part, subgingival in nature. Periodontal scaling requires more skill and expertise than prophylaxis procedures. Patients with periodontal disease, either active or inactive, bear the scars of the disease process – such as bone loss and pocketing – which is rarely generalized throughout the mouth. Periodontal disease is a bacterial and/or viral proliferation of pathogens that overwhelms the host defenses and spurs the host’s own immune system to initiate a breakdown of supporting tooth structures. Periodontal disease also is episodic in nature. Destructive episodes can occur unbeknownst to the patient and can be triggered by stress, disease, or other systemic problems.
We also know that periodontal disease is not a “curable” disease, but it is controllable in most patients. Therefore, when a patient has experienced periodontal disease in the past, we must be ever-vigilant to monitor for signs of active disease long after the disease has been brought under control through good periodontal therapy.