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Dental Scaling

What Is Dental Scaling?

Plaque and tartar (dirty-looking mineral deposits) on the teeth near the gums are most often the cause for gum disease. During your visit to the Smile Savers, the dentist may advise you to get ‘scaling’, ‘professional cleaning’, or ‘oral prophylaxis’ done. If you’re wondering what it is and if it is necessary that you get it done, you should read this post.

Why is ‘scaling’ or ‘professional cleaning’ necessary?

some DescriptionThe procedure is necessary to remove the plaque and tartar (gray, yellow, brown hard deposits on the teeth near the gums), which are one of the major reasons that cause gum disease. A few minutes after brushing, a very thin layer made up of saliva, proteins, and bacteria (also called the pellicle) is formed on the tooth surface, which acts as a base for bacterial attachment and growth. Within a few hours the accumulation of various species of bacteria along with sugar from the food we eat results in formation of a pale yellow or white sticky substance known as dental plaque. This if left on the teeth can attract minerals from the saliva and harden causing tartar. Both these are detrimental for the health of the gums and can cause gum disease, which on progressing, can manifest as periodontal disease.
Professional cleaning or scaling helps remove these and reverses gum disease or prevents the progression to periodontal disease.

How often should you get it done?

We, the dentists at Smile Savers, will be the best judge of how often you need to get it done. Most dentists recommend twice a year routine. If you maintain your oral hygiene exceptionally well, some of them recommend that you get it done once a year.

How is it done?

In the early days, dentists used manual instruments for the procedure. This was time consuming and labor intensive. With the advent of technology, ultrasonic scalers are now being increasingly used. The ultrasonic scaler consists of a hand-piece with a variety of tips that are used depending on the type of tartar being removed. The tips vibrate at a very fast rate and are cooled down by a water spray.

Will it be painful? Will there be bleeding?

If there are only superficial tartar deposits, it may not be painful. If there are deep deposits, we will usually use local anesthesia before the procedure.
There may be slight bleeding as the plaque and tartar usually cause gum inflammation and touching highly inflamed gums can cause bleeding.
If your disease is moderate, but not severe, we may recommend scaling to treat the disease and keep it from getting worse. But if you have severe periodontal disease and your condition may require gum surgery. We may recommend a scaling, root planning and/or root canal treatment before the surgery.



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