Scaling & Polishing
Scaling and polishing are two common dental procedures that are part of regular dental hygiene and preventive dental care. These procedures help maintain oral health and keep your teeth and gums in good condition.
Purpose: Scaling is the process of removing tartar (also known as dental calculus) from the teeth. Tartar is a hard, calcified deposit that forms on the teeth when plaque (a soft, sticky film of bacteria) is not properly removed through regular brushing and flossing.
Procedure: During scaling, a dental hygienist or dentist uses special instruments, such as scalers and ultrasonic devices, to carefully remove the tartar from the tooth surfaces, both above and below the gumline. This process helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Frequency: Scaling is typically recommended as a part of routine dental check-ups and cleanings, which are usually advised every six months. However, individuals with a higher risk of gum disease may require more frequent scaling.
Purpose: Polishing is a cosmetic procedure performed after scaling. It’s done to make the tooth surfaces smoother and to remove stains and plaque that may not have been completely removed during scaling. Polishing gives the teeth a clean, smooth, and shiny appearance.
Procedure: A special dental tool with a rotating rubber cup or brush and a mildly abrasive toothpaste is used for polishing. This gently scrubs the tooth surfaces, removing surface stains and irregularities.
Frequency: Polishing is typically done during routine dental check-ups, along with scaling, every six months or as recommended by your dentist.
Both scaling and polishing are important for maintaining oral health. Scaling helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay by removing the hardened deposits that can lead to these issues. Polishing, on the other hand, is primarily a cosmetic procedure that helps improve the appearance of teeth and makes them feel smoother.
Regular dental check-ups, which include scaling and polishing, are essential for preventing dental problems and maintaining good oral hygiene. It’s important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for the frequency of these procedures to keep your teeth and gums healthy.