Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and calculus around the gum line and between the teeth. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure which is particularly effective in dealing with gingivitis and early stages of periodontitis. It is essentially a very good deep cleaning done over several visits, usually with Novocaine to make the patient more comfortable. After a scaling & root planing procedure has been completed on any/all necessary quadrants, the patient will likely be put on a periodontal maintenance routine where they will be asked to come back for cleanings on a more frequent basis to prevent the buildup of plaque, calculus and tartar from exacerbating the periodontal condition. In combination with good home care habits, patients are usually able to maintain good oral health.