Dental Scaling and Polishing (Teeth Cleaning)

What is meant by scaling and polishing?

Dental scaling is a procedure that is done (for the gums) below the gum line, generally used to remove

soft (plaque) and hard deposits (tartar) from the tooth surface and it helps individuals with gum disease and excessive plaque (and tartar) buildup.

When is dental scaling and polishing advised?

Dental scaling and polishing is advised in the following cases:

  • When you have deposits on your teeth which could be hard or soft
  • If you have discolored teeth due to stains caused by smoking or intake of drinks including tea, coffee or aerated drinks
  • To prevent bad breath
  • To maintain good oral hygiene in children and adults (advised every 6 months)
  • To maintain good condition of gums and prevent bleeding from gums.

What preparation is required before starting treatment with dental scaling and polishing?

The dentist carries out full mouth examination to check for the deposits and the condition of the gums and tooth supporting tissue. Sometimes x-ray might be advised.

What steps are followed during the treatment?

The following steps are followed:

  • Using an ultrasonic (vibrating) instrument which has a combination of vibrating metal tip combined with a cool water spray is used.
  • The tip helps to remove the deposits by chipping
  • Whereas the water flushes out the debris.
  • Cleaning of tooth root is done using root planning, which helps the gums to reattach to the teeth.

What precautions should be taken post-procedure for success of the treatment?

The post-filling care includes maintenance of good oral hygiene by:

  • Rinsing after every meals
  • Brushing (using fluoride containing pastes), and then rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and flossing using proper techniques.
  • Follow-up check-ups.

Is there any relationship between pregnancy, low birth weight babies and gum disease?

Yes, it is observed that gum or periodontal diseases can result in low birth weight irrespective of the length of pregnancy.