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Scaling and Root Planing

Do you have painful and swollen gums that bleed easily?

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical, deep cleaning procedure that helps prevent the spread of gum disease.

Dr. Rick H. Heard at Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, TX, performs this deep cleaning treatment to expertly improve your oral health.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical dental procedure that deep cleans below the gum surface to remove tartar, plaque, and other build-up on the root surfaces that harbor destructive bacteria. In addition to dislodging harmful colonies of bacteria, the tooth roots are smoothed to discourage bacteria from once again getting a foothold.  

Scaling and root planing are often recommended in the early phases of gum disease as it is the least invasive and most cost-effective method to prevent the progression of periodontitis into more harmful stages.

Why Choose Dr. Heard at Gulf Coast Periodontics?

Dr. Heard Dr. Rick H. Heard

In addition to his dentistry degree, Dr. Heard is board certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience.

He is also a member of The American Academy of Periodontology, The American Dental Association, and The McGuire Institute. Dr. Heard has extensive training and expert knowledge in periodontal issues such as gum disease.

Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria is equipped with advanced technology to help diagnose the severity of periodontal disease and ensure the right level of periodontal care is prescribed.

Our team includes two board-certified anesthesiologists who can safely and expertly provide sedation for patients who are concerned about dental procedures or who have physical limitations that make sitting difficult.

What Others Say About Dr. Heard and Gulf Coast Periodontics

"The staff are so nice. Dr. Heard made sure I knew everything I needed to know going forward. It was a very comfortable and stress free appointment" Stacey Rangel

Signs of Periodontal Disease

Routine dental visits are crucial for proper dental health and can help you catch problems before they become severe. The early signs of periodontitis can often go undetected, but some signs you can look for are: 

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are tender, red, or inflamed
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth decay and cavities

Gum Disease Linked To Several Health Issues

X-ray view of body

Periodontal disease is also linked to other significant diseases throughout the body, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Digestive issues
  • Diabetes
  • Other serious health issues

Not Sure If Scaling and Root Planing Is Right for You?

At Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, TX, we understand dental issues can be painful and frustrating. We work closely with your current dental office to ensure that your gum disease treatment is the right choice for you. If you have questions leave us a message or call. If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our Victoria, TX office today.

(361) 573-1014

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical dentistry treatment that can stop the progression of gum disease and restore your oral health. The treatment is minimally invasive and often eliminates the need for surgical interventions. 

Scaling and root planing treat the problem at its source, removing the harmful tartar, plaque, and other build-up and smoothing the roots to help prevent future accumulation.

It is a cost-effective option and can eliminate the need for more expensive treatments. 

Is Cost A Concern?

Stopping gum disease early can help you avoid expensive treatments later on. If out-of-pocket expenses are an obstacle, we offer flexible financing through CareCredit®. This allows patients to split the cost over several months, making it easier to fit into monthly budgets.

Gum Disease Causes and Risk Factors

Poor Dental Hygiene

Improper or lack of brushing and flossing is a major contributor to periodontitis. Good oral hygiene should include brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing at least once a day.

Tobacco Use

Smoking and chewing tobacco can put you at an increased risk for periodontal issues such as gum disease.

Health Issues

Certain conditions and diseases such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis have been linked to gum disease.


Certain medications such as antibiotics can damage your teeth and increase your risks of developing periodontitis. It is important that you tell your dentist and periodontists about any medications you are taking. 


Women are at a greater risk of gum disease due to fluctuating hormones. Pregnancy and birth control can increase these risks.


Sometimes, periodontitis can be attributed to genetic factors.  However, if caught in time, it can be treated before significant damage occurs.

While it isn't always easy in dentistry to pinpoint the causes of periodontal disease, prevention and proper treatment are critical to stopping disease progression.

Scaling and Root Planing Treatment

Dr. Heard takes the time to thoroughly evaluate each case to determine the best course of treatment and to educate patients about what they need.
Dr. Heard takes the time to thoroughly evaluate each case to determine the best course of treatment and to educate patients about what they need.

Dr. Heard uses state-of-the-art technology to evaluate and treat each patient. Patients are usually referred to our practice by our other dentistry colleagues in the Victoria, TX, area. At your initial consultation, Dr. Heard will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums and develop a treatment plan to fit your needs.

Before the procedure begins, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic. This ensures that you are comfortable during treatment.

Plaque, tartar, and bacteria are removed from the tooth, below the gumline, and between the teeth using a dental scaling device. This hook-shaped device scrapes the build-up off the teeth.

A planing device is then used to smooth the roots, removing rough areas that can collect bacteria and cause infections.

If needed, an antibiotic will be placed in the periodontal pockets or you will be given an oral antibiotic to help eliminate any remaining bacterial infections. This isn't always necessary and will only be used when needed to avoid the overuse of antibiotics, which can increase your chances of developing drug-resistant bacteria. It is important to take any antibiotics only as prescribed. 

Finally, you will be sent home to heal and allow the gums to reattach to your teeth. We will provide you with all the instructions you need to ensure that you can properly care for your teeth and gums and minimize any discomfort at home. 

Most periodontists would agree that, after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment, including surgical therapy. However, most patients will require ongoing maintenance to maintain oral health, as advanced forms of gum disease cannot be completely cured. With proper treatment, the damage and progression of periodontitis can be managed.

Five Star Reviews


Sonya Holesovsky


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Thank you! Everyone at Gulf Coast Periodontics are just the BEST! Taking care of everyone is a priority, that's OBVIOUS from the time you arrive - until you are out the door! I appreciate the extra care and my expectations are always met and surpassed from the front desk to the fabulous Dr. Heard. Guess what! While I was writing this review, Lacy from GCP called t check on me after my visit yesterday! WOW! If YOU are in need of special dental care, I highly recommend GCP! Remember, stay healthy everyone - GCP can sure help with that!

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After multiple years of putting off a dental issue, I had my first visit to Dr. Heard. In a short period of time I went from what I had convinced myself was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a detailed, knowledge filled path forward on schedule, procedure, and even exact costs. All my questions were answered and I am completely relieved of my previous concerns. What a pleasant experience across the board including the friendly staff. That came as no surprise, as I know a few of the folks personally and they are great people outside of their work as well. Surely it's not a coincidence that they are part of the team there. I'm really looking forward to the procedures I have coming up and only wish I had went to Dr. Heard sooner.

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Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The McGuire Institute

Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

Message Our Staff

After multiple years of avoiding a dental issue, I visited Dr. Heard. In a short period of time, I went from what I thought was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a full understanding of my procedure, the timeline, and even exact costs.

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