As periodontal disease progresses, natural pockets between your gum tissue and your teeth grow deeper, allowing calculus to form further down the root of the tooth.
Over time, this further exacerbates the problem and leads to inflammation, bone loss, and ultimately infection and tooth loss.
The goal of an SRP is to remove this calculus, allowing the pockets to tighten back around the tooth. The image below is an individual with a severe state of the disease, and one we attempt to avoid with treatment.
There is tremendous evidence detailing the efficacy of the procedure and the success of the procedure being tied to the skill of the individual provider. In other words, the better your dentist or hygienist, the better the potential outcome.
However, SRP alone is not a magic bullet, and the necessity of an SRP is a clear indication that there is active periodontal disease, requiring regular periodontal maintenance, (typically every three months) to maintain the disease; think something between a deep cleaning and a regular cleaning.
With shallow probing depths, (e.g. less than 4mm pockets), there is less measurable benefit to the procedure and it is considered unwarranted.
However, the greater the initial probing depth, the more benefit the procedure provides. Smoking also has a negative impact on the success of deep cleanings and, as a whole, worsens periodontal disease