Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and polishing are common dental procedures performed by dental professionals as part of routine dental cleaning and oral hygiene maintenance.

Each procedure involves:

Scaling
Scaling, also known as dental scaling or deep cleaning removes plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), and bacteria that have accumulated on the teeth and below one’s gum line. The dental professional uses special instruments, such as scalers or ultrasonic devices, to carefully scrape off these deposits from the tooth surfaces.
Polishing
Polishing is the next step after scaling. Once the teeth are free from tartar and plaque, the dentist uses a specialized dental instrument or a rotating brush with a gritty toothpaste-like substance to polish the tooth surfaces. Polishing helps smooth the tooth enamel, remove surface stains, and give the teeth a clean and shiny appearance.
Dental polishing

When does one need scaling and dental polishing?

Scaling and polishing are recommended as part of routine dental care, usually during regular dental check-ups and cleanings. However, there are specific situations when an individual may require scaling and dental polishing outside of routine care, including-

Signs of gum disease:  If you exhibit symptoms of gum disease, like swollen, red, or bleeding gums, your dentist may recommend scaling and polishing to eliminate the formation of plaque and tartar below the gumline and help treat the gum disease.

Presence of significant tartar buildup: When there is a substantial accumulation of tartar (hardened plaque) on your teeth, scaling becomes necessary to remove these deposits, as regular brushing and flossing may not be sufficient to eliminate them.

Stained or discolored teeth:  Polishing can be beneficial for individuals with stained or discolored teeth. The procedure helps remove surface stains, resulting in a brighter and more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Preparation for other dental treatments:  Scaling and polishing may be performed before certain dental procedures, such as orthodontic treatment or cosmetic dental treatments.

Maintenance of oral health for certain individuals:  Some individuals may require more frequent scaling and polishing due to specific oral health conditions or factors. For example, those with a history of gum disease, smokers, or individuals with a higher risk of dental plaque buildup may need more regular scaling and polishing to maintain optimal oral health.

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What are the advantages of scaling and polishing?

Here are the key benefits of these dental procedures:

Scaling and polishing effectively remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial deposits from the teeth and gum line. This helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
By removing plaque and tartar, scaling and polishing help prevent and treat gum disease. These eliminate the irritants that cause gum inflammation, infection, and periodontal problems.
Scaling and dental polishing combat bad breath by removing the sources of odor-causing bacteria and plaque buildup, resulting in improved oral freshness.

During scaling and polishing, dentists closely examine the teeth and gums. This allows for the early detection of dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and other oral problems, facilitating timely intervention and treatment.