Professional dental cleaning: During a typical checkup, your dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar that build up and harden on the tooth surface. (Plaque is the ‘film' that covers teeth, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Tartar is the hard, yellowish deep deposit on teeth,) When plaque and tartar reach this level of build up, they can only be removed with professional cleaning. Cleaning removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line of all your teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice a year.
Scaling and root planing: This is a deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure that is done under local anesthesia. Hardened plaque and tartar (also called calculus) are scraped away (scaling) from above and below the gum line. Also, any rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth.
Laser gum procedures: Sometimes control of plaque and inflammation of gum tissue can be done without surgery. Laser gum procedures in conjunction with scaling and root planing can be performed to treat moderate periodontitis.