Scaling and root planing is more commonly known as a deep cleaning. When you have periodontitis (gum disease), plaque and tartar can form below the gumline on the roots of your teeth, and these irritants can lead to gum loss and bone loss. Scaling and root planing involves the use of a local anesthetic to numb the area and keep you comfortable, and then special instruments are used to clean the plaque and tartar from the roots. By removing these irritants, your body can heal and you can maintain your teeth. If it is appropriate for you, Dr. French may recommend scaling and root planing in order to treat your condition.