Scaling and polishing are among the two most popular dental treatments (or prevention of disease).
To avoid tooth damage, it is recommended that everyone clean their teeth at least three times each day or after each meal. However, plaque and tartar development can still occur in some circumstances.
Regular brushing should be supplemented by a more comprehensive dental cleaning, like as scaling and polishing.
Scaling is a dental procedure that removes calculus deposits or stains from the teeth. It’s similar to scraping peeling paint off a wall.
Although scaling is done on the teeth, it can also be done on the roots, especially if periodontal pockets have already formed. This occurs when germs have already infiltrated the gums. This is known as root planing.
On the other hand, polishing is the process of smoothing the teeth after scaling, as scaling can cause the teeth to feel rough. During this time, the dentist may also administer a small quantity of fluoride to the teeth to give further protection.
For years, professionals have debated the importance of polishing. Some of them think that it should only be done when absolutely essential. Otherwise, avoid using too many abrasive instruments on the teeth to prevent further damage. Consequently, patients should consult their dentist before undergoing a dental operation to assess the benefits and downsides.
How Does the Procedure Work?
To reduce discomfort, the operation may begin with applying a topical anaesthetic to the gums and teeth. Scaling is then performed by the dentist using a range of devices.
Typically, the dental hygienist will begin with an ultrasonic tool that provides vibrations to the teeth in order to dislodge the more apparent and big deposits. As the treatment progresses, the equipment releases a cooling mist of water to wash the dirt away. The patient may have to spit every now and again to eliminate the deposits.
After the large deposits have been removed, the dentist may switch to hand scalers, which come in various sizes. Although they add time to the process, they provide the dentist more control since they can reach deeper locations that the ultrasonic tool cannot. They can also remove tiny deposits, such as those caught between teeth.
Following scaling, the dentist may polish the teeth with a handpiece fitted with a cup filled with soft rubber. The fluoride-containing paste is next applied to the rubber cup. Next, the dentist will massage and glide the handpiece across the teeth, smoothing the freshly cleaned surfaces.
The patient can then resume normal activities. That said, they may be restricted from eating or drinking for the first 30 minutes to an hour.
Both techniques, as well as root planing, are usually considered safe. However, some discomfort may occur, which becomes more evident if the dentist applies excessive pressure or has rough hands. This can potentially cause gum damage and bleeding.