Scale and Polish
What is a Scale and Polish?
A scale and polish is a professional teeth cleaning done to remove the build-up of plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the teeth. This tartar cannot be removed with regular teeth brushing. No matter how good your oral hygiene is, plaque can build-up in tricky places and be hard to remove with your daily dental hygiene routine. When plaque builds up, it forms a hardened, crusty deposit called calculus or tartar. Left untreated these deposits can develop beneath the gum line and lead to gum diseases like gingivitis and even periodontitis.
Why would a scale and polish be needed?
Your dentist may advise a scale and polish when you come for your regular dental check-up if it is found that you may need it to prevent the development of these deposits. Your dentist may also use a scale and polish as part of treatment for gum disease and to prevent periodontitis which is a serious gum disease that can affect the structural tissues of the tooth. Dr Chodree will be able to tell you how often a scale and polish would be needed based on an oral exam.
What can I expect?
Your dentist can do a scale and polish. The scaling involves the removal of hardened deposits using an ultrasound cleaner. Once the calculus has been removed the polish is next. The polishing is done mechanically with special pastes to make the surface of the teeth really smooth, polishing away any rough textured patches on the teeth that may allow plaque to stick. When smooth, the build-up of plaque is less likely. Stains from coffee and tea are also removed. Stains from smoking are harder to remove especially when those nicotine stains have built up over a long time period. A second appointment maybe required if stains are very stubborn, or if teeth are very sensitive and all the tartar cannot be removed.