Step 3: Root planing

Lithotripsy is root planing carried out using ultrasound.

What is root planing or lithotripsy ?


  • This step is carried out by the dental surgeon under local anaesthetic.
  • It should be started once the patient has mastered plaque control.
  • It consists of eliminating bacteria and tartar from deep inside the periodontal pockets using curettes and ultrasound.
  • There is no need for detachment of the gums or for sutures.
  • Several sessions are necessary.
  • Following this treatment, there is a risk that you may have sensitivity to cold for several months.



Root planing and lithotripsy have the same objective: to eliminate bacteria from deep inside the pockets.

Following this treatment, the gums will be sensitive for several months. It is therefore not always possible to re-start plaque control immediately and you may have to use a mouthwash during this period.