Scaling and root planing removes dental plaque and tartar, also called calculus. These non-surgical procedures completely clean the periodontium and work effectively for patients suffering from gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) and moderate/severe periodontal disease. Periodontal scaling and root planing may be necessary for disease prevention, tooth protection, aesthetic effects, and better breath. Scaling is performed with special dental instruments and may include an ultrasonic scaling tool to remove calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root surfaces. Root planing removes cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is smoothed in order to promote healing. Having clean, smooth root surfaces helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in future. The gum pockets may be treated with antibiotics after these deep cleaning procedures to soothe irritation and help the gum tissues to heal quickly.