Scaling & Root Planing

When you have deep periodontal pockets, the first step required is to try to get the infection that caused the pockets under control. The way to get the infection under control is to remove the source of the infection. In periodontal disease, the first step we do is a procedure called scaling and root planning + Laser Pocket Disinfection.

Scaling and root planing (sometimes also called  “deep cleaning”) is a very thorough cleaning done under anesthetic (you are numb) so we can aggressively get under the gum line and attempt to clean out as much of the plaque, toxins and bacteria as possible.

In addition to the Scaling & Root Planing we use the Periolase to perform Laser Pocket Disinfection to kill the black, pigmented bacteria which cause periodontal disease. Our office is the only one in Spokane to have a hygienist specifically trained in use of the Periolase.

Scaling and root planing is usually the first step in your treatment to see how well you respond from a non-surgical standpoint. Sometimes scaling and root planing is enough to completely correct mild to moderate periodontal problems. If residual disease remains you may require some type of corrective procedure to get your mouth back to a state of health.

Scaling & Root Planning - 1  Scaling & Root Planning - 2

What can I expect?

Depending on the extent of your presenting condition we may see you for a number of appointments. You may have some mild discomfort, and as the inflammation goes down some of your roots may become exposed causing hot/cold sensitivity. This sensitivity will get better, but it may take time for it come down.

Am I done?
It is very important that you realize that when you are a periodontal patient, you are a periodontal patient for life. Just getting the scaling and root planing once will not cure you of all your ills. Scaling and root planing is simply the first step. Also, realize that our job is to get your mouth to a state of health. It is a very unstable state of health. If you perform good home care you can remain in this unstable state of health for many years to come. If, however, you do not perform good home care you will break down faster than if we had never worked on you.


Pam L. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


Due to the severity of my dental needs, my regular dentist referred me to Dr. Engen’s office. Being referred to a periodontal specialist is not something I would wish upon anyone, and it was difficult going to another dentist. However, from the minute I entered their office I was greeted by professional, friendly staff members who acknowledged me with a warm smile and a pleasant, cheerful welcome. The doctors and hygienists demonstrated a high level of expertise and technical competency by effectively communicating the options available to address my dental needs. Each and every staff member I encountered, from the receptionist, to the doctors are extremely dedicated to creating a long term relationship with each one of their patients, including taking the time to educate each patient about oral hygiene. The staff at your office works harmoniously, cooperatively and effectively as a team to make your time with them as productive as possible. I would highly recommend this office to anyone seeking resolution to any dental issues and be assured you will be pleasantly surprised with your time with them.

Lyle B. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


State of the art care! I like the “get it right” attitude. After eight years I have not had one negative experience.