Scaling and Polishing

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    Scaling and Polishing (Teeth Cleaning)

    Medically called Prophylaxis or periodontal instrumentation, teeth cleaning involves tooth scaling and polishing using advanced dental devices and instruments. It is preventive care treatment where tartar or calculus and mineralized plaque are removed from deep periodontal pockets. A dental hygienist /dentist brushes and flosses the entire area, even out-of-reach parts. Once the root surface is cleaned of tartar, it is smoothed or polished to remove bacterial growth. The importance of scaling and polishing are as follow:

    • The periodic removal of plaque and tartar helps reduce the risks of gingivitis, a gum disease. 
    • It helps thwart the development of severe gum diseases like periodontitis.
    • Calculus is a hard, impenetrable deposit that can’t be eliminated by cleaning your teeth every day. Scaling helps in the effective removal of the tartar buildup.
    • Regular tooth cleaning helps safeguard the tooth enamel.
    • Removal of tartar helps reduce risks of loose teeth and tooth loss, and gum recession.
    • Polishing aids in removing stains caused by the frequent consumption of tea/coffee, cigarettes, and other substances.
    • While scaling and polishing, the dentist can screen for oral issues like cavity and tooth decay.
    • These techniques enhance confidence and the smile.

    Possible Causes

    Plaque and tartar buildup is an everyday occurrence, even if one brushes their teeth twice a day. The bacteria inside the mouth react with the saliva’s starch and calcium to create an acidic environment. 

    The acid stains the teeth and tends to damage the enamel and teeth roots over a period. The bacteria can invade the gums to create periodontal pockets. It leads to the deposition of calculus and plaque on the teeth surface, roots, and bags.

    Risk Factors

    Despite the wide range of benefits of scaling and polishing, several known risks are associated with this procedure. Some of them are gum recession, tooth sensitivity, swollen gums, root bleeding, root cavity, tender gums, and eating restrictions.

    Signs and Symptoms

    The dentists recommend scaling and polishing under the following conditions:

    • Swollen gums
    • Bleeding gums
    • Sensitive gums
    • Gum recession
    • Toothache
    • Bad breath


    The dentist inspects the teeth to identify decay and issues with the enamel. Usually, no imaging is required before the treatment. 

    Treatment Options at 7DMC

    At our dental clinic, we ensure the top safety of patients. Our dental experts carry out the process in the following steps:

    • Ultrasonic scaling
      • A sharp metal tool or an ultrasonic scaling device is used for non-surgical gum treatment. Once the tartar is loosened, it is washed away with water spray. 
      • The device disrupts and scrapes off the bacterial plaque growth from the tooth surface and tartar deposited below the gum line. 
      • The ultrasonic device helps remove the calculus and plaque deposits from the teeth.


    • The coarse root surface is smoothed with the help of specialized dental equipment. 
    • The teeth’ surfaces are then rubbed and polished so that stains get removed. The teeth are polished using a slow-speed drill and a polishing paste-filled rubber cap. 
    • The teeth are then flossed and crowned with a fluoride coat or Prophylaxis paste as a protective covering. 

    Our experts will also advise you on following routine oral hygiene procedures to reduce the formation of tartar and plaque.


    Frequently asked questions

    • People of all ages can go in for regular scaling and polishing of their teeth. Once a year is advisable.
    • People who started to show signs of disease like bleeding gums 
    • People who are suffering from bad breath or halitosis.
    • People with stained teeth.

    Doctors recommend scaling and polishing every 6 months to keep your teeth glossy and healthy. However, some patients may accumulate buildup faster. So, before you have periodontal issues, it is recommended to visit a dentist.