Scaling and polishing is a dental procedure that is used to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) from the surface of the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, and if it is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Scaling and polishing is typically performed by a dentist or dental hygienist and is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene.
The procedure for scaling and polishing typically involves the following steps:
- The dentist or hygienist will use a small scaler to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth, paying particular attention to areas that are difficult to reach such as the back of the teeth, along the gum line and in between teeth.
- Next, the dentist or hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler which uses high-frequency sound waves to loosen and remove plaque and tartar.
- The teeth are then polished with a special polishing paste, which helps to smooth the surface of the teeth and remove any remaining plaque or stains.
- After scaling and polishing, the dentist or hygienist will check for any signs of gum disease, such as inflammation, bleeding or pockets. They may also give advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene at home such as brushing, flossing and using interdental brush.
Scaling and polishing is generally a painless procedure, but some patients may experience some sensitivity or discomfort during or after the procedure. This is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
Regular scaling and polishing can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque and tartar, which are the main causes of these conditions. It can also help to keep the teeth looking clean and white by removing surface stains caused by food, drink, and smoking.
It’s recommended that adults have a scaling and polishing at least twice a year, or as often as recommended by their dental professionals or dentist. It’s also important to maintain good oral hygiene at home, including brushing and flossing regularly, and to visit the dentist for regular check-ups.
In summary, scaling and polishing is a routine dental procedure that helps to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth, and is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. It can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, and can also help to keep the teeth looking clean and white. Regular scaling and polishing, in conjunction with good oral hygiene at home, is essential for maintaining good oral health