Teeth Scaling and Polishing: Overview and Advantages


Two of the most common dental procedures done for prophylaxis are teeth scaling and polishing. If you don’t practice exceptional dental care on a daily basis, there is a tendency for plaque and tartar to build up.

As the food you eat is converted into sugar or starch, it combines with the bacteria found in the teeth and mouth. As the cycle continues, the teeth are placed in an acidic environment. This can result to teeth stains as well as possible damage to the tooth enamel and root.

That being said, it is vital that proper dental care is always complemented by a teeth scaling and polishing.

The dental process that involves removal of stain or calculus deposits on the teeth is called scaling. Polishing on the other hand refers to the process of smoothing the teeth after scaling.

How the Procedure Works

To ensure discomfort is minimised, the procedure starts with the application of a local anaesthetic. For teeth scaling, the dentist can make use of a variety of instruments.

An ultrasonic instrument is used to get rid of those large and highly visible deposits. The instrument will also emit water to wash the debris away. Every once in a while, the patient will be asked to spit so the deposits are expelled.

Once the big deposits are removed, the dentist may use hand scalers. While using hand scalers can sometimes prolong the procedure, they can help the dentist reach areas the ultrasonic instrument was not able to reach.

After the completion of teeth scaling, the dentist will polish the teeth using a handpiece equipped with a cup that’s filled with soft rubber. The paste (often made of fluoride) is placed on the rubber cup. The handpiece is rubbed on the teeth to smoothen the newly cleaned areas.

While the patient will be prohibited to eat or drink 30 minutes to an hour after the procedure, they can perform regular activities after.

Benefits of Teeth Scaling and Polishing

Many studies have shown the link between oral hygiene and overall health. While brushing and flossing daily can help, it won’t be able to warrant long-term oral health. Fortunately, the help of dental professionals can come in handy.

Teeth scaling and polishing is not only known to help ensure overall oral health is achieved, it also offers many remarkable benefits. For starters:

Prevents cavities

Left unattended, plaque and tartar can cause tooth decay. Aside from brushing and flossing regularly, teeth scaling and polishing can also help prevent cavities and can leave the teeth thoroughly cleaned.

Can save you money

Not everyone may be aware of it but proper oral care can eventually save you money in the long run. Observing proper oral care which includes routine scaling and polishing can also help get rid of cavities at an early stage.

Left unattended, cavities can lead to unwanted complications which might require complicated and costly procedures like root canal treatment, dental implants, etc.

It can help maintain your overall health

Countless studies have been conducted on the correlation between oral and overall health. For instance, gum disease and gingivitis has been known to have a direct effect on cardiovascular health.

In addition, removal of tartar that causes cavities is also believed to significantly minimise the risk of developing debilitating illnesses such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.


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