Scaling and Root Planing (“Deep cleaning”) A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, may be suggested if you have developed excessive plaque and tartar below the gum line. This treatment is needed to help heal periodontal disease. “Deep cleaning” procedure removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed. In some cases the dentist may indicate Arestin. This is a localized antibiotic that is easily placed in conjunction with root planing and scaling to help treat periodontal disease and promote healing.