Dental Cleaning and Polishing
Dental cleaning also known as scaling followed by polishing is routinely performed to help patients with gum disease and excessive plaque build-up. While a standard scaling addresses the surface of the tooth, root planing goes much deeper to the root surfaces of the tooth.
It is a procedure used to remove infected deposits like plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth surfaces. Such deposits, if not removed by scaling, cause infection and loosening of the gums, ultimately leading to pyorrhoea and tooth loss.
Scaling is a safe and routine procedure and does not damage the tooth surface in any way.
Scaling or cleaning is advised in the following cases:
- As a precautionary measure to avoid plaque, calculus formation
- Gingivitis (gum inflammation)
- Periodontitis (severe gum infection)
There are two types of scaling instruments and some dentists may use both or one of the two methods:
- Scaling with hand-held instruments: Your dentist will use a dental scaler and curette to manually remove (scale) the plaque from the teeth.
- Scaling with ultrasonic instruments: Ultrasonic scaling instruments clean plaque from the teeth with a vibrating metal tip that chips off the tartar and a water spray to wash it away and keep the tip cool.
Frequency of Scaling and Polishing:
Plaque formation on the teeth is a continuous process. If this is not removed by brushing it starts mineralizing into tartar. The golden rule is to have a routine dental check up every 6 months.
Your dentist will be able to advise you whether you need scaling or not. On an average, a person might require scaling every 6 months. Dental scaling must be done by a dental professional.