Scaling and Polishing

What is scaling and polishing of teeth?

Scaling is the removal of plaque, stains and tartar that gets accumulated in the teeth over time. Plaque harbors bacteria in your teeth and gums. This leads to gum disease and cavities. So, one should do the routine scaling and polishing every six months. Careful and gentle removal of the debris and deposits protects your soft tissues and tooth.

How do Plaque and Calculus get deposited on the teeth?

Tartar or calculus formation is a gradual process and this occurs in every mouth despite proper cleaning and brushing techniques. This is because the saliva contains minerals like calcium which gets deposited slowly on the teeth. This will eventually encroach into the gums too. If allowed to remain for a long time, you will get cavities on teeth and gum disease due to the activity of bacteria. Apart from that, they will form thick calcified structures which are inseparable from the teeth. The white calculus that initially forms will become discolored as time progresses.

When do I need to do scaling and polishing?

You need to do the procedure every six months. You may also do scaling and polishing if you experience:

  • Foul breath
  • Hard deposits on your teeth
  • Bleeding from the gums while brushing
  • Food lodgement

How is scaling and polishing done?

Removal of the plaque and calculus is involved in scaling or cleaning of teeth. Special equipments are used to remove the harmful substances in a gentle manner. They produce some kind of vibrations which facilitates the removal of deposits from the teeth. The dentist will do the procedure without anesthesia as the procedure does not entail discomfort to the patient. Usually, the procedure takes less than 30 minutes for those who do regular scaling and polishing. In other cases, the time may be more and sometimes in severe cases, multiple appointments are necessary.

Scaling should be done with polishing. This is to make sure that the teeth surfaces are smooth and prevent further accumulation of debris. Polishing is done using polishing paste after scaling and the surfaces are made smooth and stain free.

scaling and polishing





At the end of scaling and polishing, the clean, white teeth will be devoid of deposits, stains, and roughness.

Will scaling or polishing cause any discomfort or side effects?

No, none of these procedures cause any discomfort. If you feel any sensitivity or unpleasant sensation on your teeth, inform the dentist.

Bleeding may occur during scaling if the gums are already inflamed. However, it is transient and stops soon after the procedure. You may not even know that your gums are bleeding. There are no side effects associated with scaling and polishing. In fact, it should be made a practice to do it once in six months. You will feel the difference soon after the completion of the procedure.