Scaling and Root Planing in Chevy Chase, MD

28 Services ( View All )


If you have developed symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease, a regular cleaning might not be sufficient enough. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is usually treated with scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments. This is a nonsurgical procedure performed by experienced dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis to help eliminate gum disease by removing built-up plaque and tartar from the under the gumline. Using special tools, an SRP treatment at Smiles of Chevy Chase cleans out the gum pockets and smoothes the teeth to prevent future buildup. If you are concerned about your gums, learn more about scaling and root planing at our dental practice in Chevy Chase, MD.

Best Candidates

During your dental exam, Dr. Markogiannakis will check the depth of your gum pockets. If the depth of the pockets, also known as sulcus, is greater than three millimeters, a scaling and root planing treatment may be recommended. SRP helps to reduce the size of your gum pockets so plaque and bacteria cannot collect in this area. Some of the early symptoms of gum disease are chronic bad breath and loose teeth, as well as gums that are swollen, tender, bleed easily, appear red, or are receding. If gum disease is caught early, one or more SRP treatments can reverse these symptoms; however, if your gum disease has progressed to the later stages (periodontitis or advanced periodontitis), then you may require more extensive treatments.

What To Expect

Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal cleaning that can be performed in our office with local anesthesia to numb the areas being treated. We may also recommend one of our sedation techniques, such as oral-conscious sedation, if you feel anxious about having this procedure. Dr. Markogiannakis will use a scaling instrument to clean out built-up plaque and tartar in your gum pockets. Dr. Markogiannakis will then smooth or plane the exterior of the tooth to reduce the number of areas where plaque and tartar can become trapped, preventing future buildup. If necessary, your SRP treatment can be paired with ARESTIN, a locally applied antibiotic that directly addresses bacteria within the gum pockets following scaling and root planing.


After your SRP treatment, you may experience increased gum and tooth sensitivity, as well as some numbness from the local anesthetic. Dr. Markogiannakis may prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate any remaining bacteria from your gums. You should follow a good oral care routine at home that includes proper brushing and flossing to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. You should also schedule and attend your annual dental exams so Dr. Markogiannakis can assess the health of your gums and teeth over time, as well as your bi-annual appointments to have your mouth professionally cleaned. Depending on the original condition of your gums and your home care after an SRP treatment, you may require more SRP treatments to fully restore your oral health and recover from periodontal disease.

Insurance Coverage

Scaling and root planing is a common procedure for the treatment of gum disease that is usually covered in part by dental insurance. We can contact your carrier to determine your coverage and personal costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Smiles of Chevy Chase accepts many payment methods, including medical financing, that can be discussed during your consultation. Dr. Markogiannakis works closely with all of her patients to ensure that their dental care is affordable and accessible.

Scaling and Root Planing

Gum disease can become painful and dangerous to your health so if you are experiencing symptoms, please schedule a dental assessment with Dr. Markogiannakis at her office in Chevy Chase, MD. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is usually treated with a simple scaling and root planing treatment at Smiles of Chevy Chase. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or to get more information.

Related Procedures

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.