Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

: 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-

The conundrum of scaling and root planing

Harpreet Singh Grover 
 Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Chief Consultant, Dr. Grover's Dental Clinic, J-9/48 (Second Floor), Rajouri Garden, New Delhi - 110 027, India

Correspondence Address:
Harpreet Singh Grover
Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Chief Consultant, Dr. Grover's Dental Clinic, J-9/48 (Second Floor), Rajouri Garden, New Delhi - 110 027

How to cite this article:
Grover HS. The conundrum of scaling and root planing.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2022;26:203-203

How to cite this URL:
Grover HS. The conundrum of scaling and root planing. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 May 27 ];26:203-203
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Full Text


The quandary of periodontology in 2022 stems from lack of a consensus in the practical training program at undergraduate clinics of our dental students and the perceived lack of interest therein.

Having understood over generations that Scaling and Root planing (SRP) is the bedrock over which all periodontal treatment modalities are based; the dilemma, disagreement and questions being raised about SRP by some experts-terming it a modality which harbours disinterest amongst the student community affecting prospects of Periodontology as their speciality choice for future and a consequent lack of admissions. This philosophy sounds bizarre if not downright baffling.

Over the years innumerable reasons have been advocated as to why training hours for the SRP should not be truncated to be replaced by more seemingly interesting methods of training such as ultrasonic scaling, minor surgical procedures and so on. Very apparently every self-respecting periodontist whether a teacher or a pure clinician must give his own reason to tear down SRP. Many seem self-obsessed by a desire of being 'Messiahs of change” slaying the demons of SRP- their minds in an archetypal Don Quixotic haze.

The collective evidence from dozens of clinical trials show a consistency of tissue response in the treatment of chronic periodontitis by SRP. Rather than thinking of reducing the hours, more time should be devoted in learning and mastering the fine art of manual scaling - developing a dexterity which will help to perform more effective sonic and ultrasonic scaling and a better level of mechanical debridement during periodontal surgeries too.

Hundreds of slides are burnt publicly during conventions and meetings, harping on the advantages, benefits and the role SRP plays in combating periodontal disease yet privately it has become a fashion to decry the same. Pray where is the evidence?

Let us not be naive. Declining interest is a stark reality but it is equally stark that finding scapegoats (in this case SRP) is not the need of the hour. As I stated in an earlier issue it requires a much greater introspection on many fronts.

Needless to say, undermining SRP means undermining dentistry itself.

ISPlendidly Yours