Treat Gum Disease and Improve Oral Health with Root Planing and Scaling By Dr. Everett Heringer on March 12, 2015

Middle-aged male with healthy teeth and gumsMaintaining a pristine and healthy smile can be difficult because bacteria is naturally present in the mouth. Many patients will eventually experience some decline in oral health due to a buildup of bacteria and the formation of plaque and tartar. Although most people may consider their oral health in terms of the strength of their teeth, the health of the gums also plays an important role in overall oral health and comfortable and effective oral functions. Restorative dentistry treatments address complications involving the teeth and gums to help patients maintain a smile that is strong and healthy. In many cases, Dr. Everett E. Heringer relies on restorative dentistry to treat the various stages of gum disease. One of the most common gum disease treatments offered to our Bismarck patients is root planing and scaling, which aims to eliminate bacteria and infection from beneath the gum line and promote the healing of gum tissue.

The Treatment Process

Although almost everyone has a general understanding of gum disease, very few of our patients are familiar with root planing and scaling. While this may sound like a complicated, or even painful, procedure, once patients learn more about this treatment process, they are likely to feel comfortable about treatment and confident about the outcome it can produce (a healthier smile that functions without pain or discomfort).

When it comes down to it, root planing and scaling is not all that different from a routine dental cleaning. The primary difference is that root planing and scaling offers patients a deeper cleaning to eliminate bacteria, plaque, and tartar that has developed beneath the gum line (and which may result in an infection of the gums). This gum disease treatment is broken down into two parts. First, Dr. Heringer performs scaling. Scaling is essentially a cleaning of the teeth. Using either a handheld dental tool or a dental laser, bacteria, plaque, tartar, and any other buildup is cleaned away from the teeth. This procedure addresses not only the visible surface of the teeth, but extends beneath the gum line to reach down to the roots of the teeth. Second, Dr. Heringer performs root planing. Root planing is a smoothing down of the tooth roots. This eliminates rough patches from the teeth so that it becomes more difficult for bacteria to cling to the teeth. This entire procedure will be performed using local anesthetic to ensure that patients are comfortable throughout.


Most patients recover very quickly from root planing and scaling. While the teeth and gums may be slightly sore after treatment, patients are able to resume oral functions immediately and should continue with regular oral hygiene habits as well. Dr. Heringer is likely to provide patients with an antibacterial rinse that should be used in the weeks following treatment. This will aid in healing and ensure that no bacteria remain on the teeth and gums.

Contact Us

Dr. Everett E. Heringer provides the patients of his practice with full-service dentistry. From general dentistry services to maintain good oral health, to restorative dentistry treatments to address oral health complications, to cosmetic dentistry that improves the appearance of the smile, we have it all. Contact us to learn more about our personal approach to dental care and find out how we can help you enhance your smile. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Dr. Everett E. Heringer

Everett E. Heringer, DDS

Dr. Heringer is dedicated to dental excellence and is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • World Clinical Laser Institute
  • North Dakota Dental Association
  • SPEAR Dental Education
  • SPEAR Study Club Leader

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (701) 255-4850.

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"The staff was amazing and made me feel at complete ease... I truly cannot say enough about how wonderful my experience was… I highly highly recommend Dr. Heringer. I will never see another dentist again, they are stuck with me!"

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