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Dental Scaling and Polishing
Healthy gums do not bleed. If you notice that you are bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth, it could be a sign of gum disease. Irrespective of how well you brush your teeth, some areas remain untouched by your toothbrush.
Dentists have developed a technique of cleaning, which is known as scaling and polishing. You should usually make an appointment to see your dentist every three to six months to carry this out.
What is Dental Scaling and Polishing
A build-up of plaque, as well as bacteria, can cause gum diseases. Brushing your teeth daily twice a day is the best way to remove them. No matter how regularly you clean your teeth, there will be hard to reach areas. It is tricky to keep these areas clean.
In these areas, there will be an accumulation of bacteria. The plaque formed will mineralize to form hard crusty tartar. It is impossible to remove tartar by only brushing. If tartar is not removed, more plaque can build up around the tooth. It may also build-up under the gum line, leading to gum disease progression.
Your dentist will recommend that you go for a scaling and polishing procedure. This is suggested to reduce the risk of gum disease or to help stop it from becoming more serious.
What to Expect at a Scaling and Polishing Treatment
Your dentist or his dental assistant can do a scaling or polishing treatment. The complete process is a two-step process.
The first step is known as scraping. Scrapping involves the removal of plaque and tartar deposits. In this process, the dentists use an ultrasound scraper to remove the bulk of the tartar.
Your dentist initially uses an ultrasound scraper to get rid of the bulk of tartar. Then he uses a specialized handheld instrument to scrape away the remaining tartar.
The second step is called polishing. In this process, the surface of your teeth is made smooth with the use of instruments. This procedure removes all the stains leaving your teeth bright and shiny. Polishing removes away minor imperfections and patches of rough texture on your teeth. This helps in protecting against further plaque build-up.
Your dentist will tell you about the frequency of scaling and polishing sessions. You must note that a good daily oral health routine cannot be replaced by a professional cleaning.
Scaling and polishing is an add-on and not an alternative. You can not replace the daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day with scaling and polishing. Your dentist can also recommend using another kind of toothpaste for plaque removal.
Tooth Scaling and Polishing Procedure
Scaling Stage: Scaling is the process of manually scraping off tartar and plaque with hand scalers. Hand scalers are sharp stainless steel instruments. Scaling removes the hardened pieces of plaque and tartar stuck to your teeth.
Ultrasonic scalers can remove plaque and tartar easily as well as quickly. Nowadays, we have scenarios where deep cleaning is required. And local anesthesia is administered to make the scaling process comfortable. Root planning may also be carried out with scaling if gum disease has already set in.
Polishing Stage: Polishing is performed with rotary power brushes to quicken the cleaning process. It removes tenacious stains such as those caused by wine, coffee, tea, and other foods.
A mildly abrasive paste is used for polishing. The paste includes re-mineralizing ingredients such as fluoride and calcium. These serve to reinvigorate and reinforce weakened tooth structure.
Post scaling and polishing, the dentist will do the flossing of the teeth. This would flush out any residual or loose pieces of tartar and plaque. They will also check the quality of their work. Post scaling and polishing, there will be some sensitivity for a period of time.
Benefits of Dental Scaling and Polishing
1 Teeth Protection – The structure of the gum and the bone tissue gets weakened when there is an accumulation of harmful bacteria. The damaged tissues weaken the hold of your teeth to its sockets. Gum disease can lead to teeth loss.
2 Prevention of Diseases – Food particles and debris produce bacteria. Scaling and polishing assist in the removal of these bacteria. The removal of the bacteria prevents the spread of periodontal diseases. It helps to prevent various diseases of gum and teeth such as periodontitis, gingivitis and dental caries.
3 Sparkly Attractive Teeth – Dental stains, tartar, and plaque are never a pleasant sight. Scaling and polishing remove tartar, plaque, and stains and you get sparkling and attractive teeth. It helps to maintain the natural tooth color, texture and brightness. It helps to improve your smile.
4 Better breath – Food particle accumulation results in a bad smell and taste in your mouth. Food particles and debris stick deep inside your gum pockets and rot there. Scaling and polishing remove the rotting food particles and allows a fresher breath. It helps to prevent bad breath (halitosis).
Aftercare Tips Post Scaling and Polishing
After scaling and polishing procedures, it is critical to have proper self-care. You can experience inflammation, redness, and pain when brushing, flossing and chewing. The gums and teeth must be kept healthy and clean. To achieve this, you have to do regular brushing, flossing, have a balanced diet and do mild salt water rinses.
Here are few tips for maintaining improvements through proper aftercare.
1 Brush gently
It is common to encounter moderate discomfort and slight bleeding after a root scaling treatment. You must use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently with a circular motion. This will minimize your pain while brushing.
Brushes with hard bristles can be harmful to your gums. Cleaning your teeth will take longer after the procedure as you will have to move slowly and deliberately.
2 Use wax-coated floss
Flossing should be done at least twice a day using wax-coated floss. Unwaxed floss can aggravate the gums after scaling and may cause additional bleeding. The teeth should be flossed after every meal or snack in which food particles have become noticeably trapped in between the gaps in teeth. If there is
post-treatment soreness and flossing are uncomfortable. You can use a waterpik to clean between the teeth.
3 Soothe the gums with warm salt water
After you had a heavy meal, you should rinse your mouth with mild saltwater to soothe your gums. Post-procedure, your teeth may become more sensitive to sweet foods and extremes of hot and cold.
Saltwater can free up debris from your teeth without the need for additional brushing. It can also alleviate mild inflammation and redness.
4 Limit Snacks
Good oral care practices include following a balanced diet and a proper eating plan. When you eat or drink, your mouth is exposed to more substances. These substances can alter their pH and create a conducive environment for bacteria.
It sounds difficult, but you must limit snacking to just once or twice per day while maintaining regular meals. Ensure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating or drinking, especially during the first few days after your scaling treatment.
5 Stay on Track with Dental Appointments
After your scaling treatment, you must ensure the scheduling of regular dental visits. You must go through regular checkups followed by cleanings. This will limit plaque and tartar buildup and ensure long-term post-treatment success.
Why Choose Us for Scaling and Polishing
Whether you are looking for a routine check-up to maintain a healthy smile, or cosmetic dentistry- REPC Dubai is here to help you.
Our team of dentists at REPC Dubai are hand-picked based on their experience and qualifications. REPC Dubai aims to provide dental care of the highest quality. We ensure each of our individual patients enjoys healthy gums, fresh breath and a confident smile.
At REPC Dubai we try our best to make you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit. With a caring and friendly approach, our team at REPC Dubai always has the time to discuss any of your concerns and queries.
A sticky layer of plaque builds up on your teeth throughout the day. This sticky substance is actually bacteria, and it is turned into acid when it reacts with sugary food. You can remove this plaque by brushing your teeth twice a day.
But the problem is with the hard to reach areas. When plaque builds up over time, it hardens to form tartar or calculus. As this is a harder substance, it is even more difficult to remove it by brushing alone. This is where the scaling and polishing procedure comes into the picture.
No, the scaling and polishing procedure does not hurt. But you may likely feel some unusual sensations in your mouth. This could include a scraping sensation or a tickling feeling in your mouth. It is likely to be painful if you have badly worn teeth, sore gums, or a dentist who is less gentle.
Your dentist might use a topical numbing gel if you are very nervous about any dental pain. It is a form of local anaesthetic and will freeze the area to be treated. If you are nervous about the scaling and polishing procedure being painful, then speak to your dentist about it.
Your dentist would recommend a scale and polish treatment every six months. In order to prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth.
However, some people will require the treatment less frequently. Some people prefer to have a scale and polish after orthodontic treatment. In contrast, others have scaling and polishing done to get their teeth and gums in top shape just before a dental implant procedure.
The scaling and polishing procedure does not pose any direct risk to your teeth or gum. Instead, the procedure has great benefits in preventing various teeth and gum diseases in the mouth.
During the scraping stage, you might experience minor sensitivity due to the vibrations from the instrument. However, this sensitivity can be managed by your dentist by adjusting the frequency of the ultrasonic scaler. Hence scaling and polishing is considered safe for all.