The purpose of scaling is to remove plaque, tartar and stains built up on teeth, bringing clean and smooth teeth back, thus reducing the risk of periodontal diseases. The dentist can also conduct an oral examination and identify problems such as tooth decay. Regular scaling is crucial for early detection and treatment of oral diseases.
Routine scaling and polishing:
A regular scaling for every 6 months or a year is recommended. People who are more susceptible to gum diseases, including smokers, denture wearers or those who have received/are receiving orthodontic treatments, scaling every 3 to 6 months is recommended to maintain their oral hygiene.
The scaling procedure is divided into 2 major parts. The dentist will first use ultrasonic vibrations to remove tartar and plaque. The teeth surface is then polished and strengthened to smoothen the teeth surface thus inhibiting bacterial growth. Regular scaling results in clean, smooth and glossy teeth that are easier for you to maintain at home.
Many people have experienced gum bleeding or slight numbness during and after scaling, and some may feel nervous about dental cleaning. In fact, these symptoms are normal. During scaling, the swollen gums will shrink. The water jets will strike the teeth and gums as the high-frequency vibrations shake away the tartar. Such action will rinse the inflamed areas, causing the gums to bleed or their numbness. Leaving the teeth roots exposed is another reason for the numbness, as tartar is being removed from the roots. It is reassuring to know that these discomforts will subside within a week.
Enamel, the hardest tissue in the body, is the outermost layer of the teeth and is composed primarily of minerals. In addition, scaling removes tartar from the teeth mainly by using instruments and therefore does not damage the teeth structure.
Points to note after scaling
Patients with periodontal disease may experience slight discomfort in the mouth and bleeding gums for a few days. With continued oral hygiene, the oral discomfort will gradually disappear and recover soon.