When do we need scaling and polishing?
Dental plaque is present in everybody’s mouths. Plaque is a thin sticky film of bacteria, minerals and some food leftovers. It irritates the gum or gingiva and causes inflammation over time: gingivitis. If not cleaned properly, dental plaque will harden to form calculus, which leads to problems like gum swelling, bleeding and bad breath. With the right brushing and flossing technique, dental plaque may be removed. However, Calculus and Stains require a visit to your dentist’s office to be professionally cleaned off. This is done by a procedure called scaling.
What is scaling and polishing?
‘Scaling’ means scraping away. Scaling is done to remove calculus while polishing is to clean the stains on tooth. This procedure helps keep the gum-tooth interface clean and healthy thus reducing the possibility of gum disease, swelling and bleeding. It can remove what cannot be removed by simply brushing our teeth. If not done on a regular basis, the bacteria cause the bone that holds the teeth in place to be lost. This leads to loosening of the teeth.
We at 32Strong believes in using the best of equipments to provide the patient with the most efficient and comfortable dental care. At our center very efficient ultrasonic scalars are used for scaling. The tips vibrate at a very high frequency and fragment the calculus. The accompanying water spray washes the debris out. And high pressure suction is used to just suck this out. The end result is a clean mouth that is not only more hygienic but also better looking.
To polish teeth, we use a rotating brush or rubber polisher with prophylaxis paste (special toothpaste like material) to smoothen teeth surfaces and remove any leftover stains. It is essential to smoothen teeth surfaces and get rid of any roughness, as rough surfaces form pockets which tend to retain plaque.
In cases where the patient’s gums are deeply affected and calculus is present below the gumline on root surfaces, we may have to clean the root surfaces and smoothen them as well. This is called root planning.
In more advanced cases, gum surgery may be required. And in cases where there has already been a bone lose; a bone graft may be needed to replace the lost bone.
How often should I go for scaling/polishing?
Considering prevention is always better than cure, a routine 6 monthly scaling and polishing will serve most to all of your needs. So be sure to ask your dentist and hygienist for the best tips on how to improve your Oral Care and tips on keeping you free from gum disease. Be sure to inform them of any serious illnesses or long – term medications you are taking, as they may be contributing factors to your gum disease. It is important not to ignore any signs and symptoms of gum disease, as this can progress to irreversible stage of advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can lead a healthy lifestyle and have a great confident smile always.