This is the removal of calculus (tartar) and plaque biofilm from above and below the gum line. It is critical for the optimal health of the gums and surrounding bone. Some people call it "scraping" or "picking" but it is much more than that. Scaling/root planing removes disease causing bacteria to help promote healthy teeth and gums - which contribute to better overall health. Some people require more scaling/root planing appointments than others.
Your optimal frequency of scaling/root planing with be discussed with you at your appointment.