Preventative Dentistry » Scale and Polish
Scaling is the removal of calculus, plaque, tooth deposits and some stains. It can be done either by hand or a combination of hand instruments and electrical instruments (ultrasonic scalers).
Root surface cleaning is a more in-depth cleaning treatment for problematic areas under the gum.
Continuous at-home oral care is essential. The treatment of periodontal disease is vital to ensure the tooth supporting tissues (gums and bone) remain healthy. Damage caused by periodontal disease to the bone is irreversible and can lead to tooth mobility and possible loss… Prevention is essential.
At your first appointment:
You will be examined by a dentist who will assess your periodontal condition. In the least severe cases, you may only need some oral hygiene instruction.
- If there is plaque and calculus present above/under the gum, scaling or root planing may be required.
- Either a dentist or a hygienist can carry out the scaling and root planing. The more complex cases will be carried out by both the dentist and the hygienist.
- Scaling and root planing are done using special scaling instruments or ultrasonic devices.
- Ultrasonic devices fracture deposits off the tooth surface. They also use water to help clear blood, debris, necrotic tissue and calculus. They are quicker to use and less tiring for the operator. However, some patients find them uncomfortable and only hand scale can be used instead.
- Scaling above the gum can take 20 to 30 minutes. Longer visits may be necessary if there is more plaque and calculus.
Sub-Gingival Scaling and Root Planing:
- Below the gum scaling and root planing may last upto an hour and may require a local anaesthetic for your comfort.
- It is normal for the teeth and gums can sometimes be tender a few days after scaling and root planing.
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