A ‘Scale and polish’ cleans your teeth very thoroughly:
‘Scaling’ removes the hard ‘tartar’ which forms on your teeth like ‘scale’ inside a kettle and can’t be removed by brushing alone. Scaling also removes trapped food and sticky ‘plaque’ which contains millions of bacteria which cause decay and gum disease. Stains from coffee, tea, cigarettes or red wine are also cleaned away when the teeth are polished.
Your teeth will be scaled by one of our dentists. If your own tooth cleaning is very thorough then your scale and polish will take less time.
How we scale your teeth:
There are two ways to scale teeth:
- Hand scalers – These come in different sizes and shapes, to reach different parts of the teeth. This is why you will see the dentist changing the instruments quite often.
- Electric or Ultrasonic scalers – These use very fast vibration with water. The water is sucked out of your mouth.
For polishing, a rotating brush or rubber polisher is used afterwards, with toothpaste.
Scaling cleans above and below the gums. If you have gum disease then scaling needs to be deeper, around the roots of the teeth. We call this ‘root planing’. You may be given a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable.
The benefits of this treatment:
- Regular scaling and polishing by a dentist helps keep your teeth and gums healthy by making it easier for you to keep your teeth clean at home. You should see and feel the difference.
- Gums which bleed when you brush are signalling early gum disease. Regular scaling helps stop the disease progressing.
- Gum disease can cause bad breath; which can be prevented by regular scaling and thorough home care.