DENTAL CHECK-UP AND CLEAN SUNNYBANK
As part of your initial examination, and subsequent routine 6 monthly checkup, you will usually require a professional cleaning done by the dentist or the hygienist. This professional cleaning is where we do the scaling and polishing.
Scaling is required when calculus has formed on the gum margins of the teeth. If you have read the Plaque and Calculus information page, you will remember that calculus:
- is calcified/hardened plaque
- sticks to the teeth, and is not readily removed by brushing your teeth
- almost always accumulates on the tongue side of the lower front incisor teeth, and the cheek side of the upper back molar teeth. (Click here to find out why)
- can accumulate under the gums
- can accumulate if not removed regularly
The use of an ultrasonic scaler is normally required to remove calculus. This usually involves a lot of water, and a very high pitched noise which causes the calculus to detach from the tooth. Hand scalers can also be used to scrape the calculus off in harder to reach places.
When you haven’t had scaling done in a long time, the first cleaning session may take longer than normal, and will feel very different after the treatment. Sometimes, there may be an increase in sensitivity to the teeth for a while. We advise using a sensitive toothpaste while it remains uncomfortable.
This procedure is a bit more comfortable than scaling. The aim of polishing is to remove any further remaining plaque and to remove a certain amount of staining. The polishing action acts very similarly to an electric toothbrush (which is why we recommend them).
This normally requires the use of pumice or polishing paste, and a brush or rubber cup.
What is scaling?
Scaling is part of the professional cleaning procedure, and is required when calculus has formed on the gum margins of the teeth. Calculus is best defined as calcified and hardened plaque. Calculus usually accumulates on the tongue side of the lower front incisor teeth and the cheek side of the upper back molar teeth. It is not easily removed by brushing your teeth, so the scaling procedure is often the best way to get rid of accumulated calculus.
How does scaling work?
In most cases, an ultrasonic scaler is used to remove calculus from the teeth. A lot of water is usually required. Hand scalers are also sometimes used to scrape calculus off hard to reach places. If you haven't had scaling done in while, the cleaning session may take longer than usual. In some cases, your teeth may feel a little bit sensitive for a while following the procedure.
What is polishing?
Polishing is performed as part of a professional teeth cleaning procedure. It is conducted in order to remove any remaining plaque after scaling. It can also be done to remove some staining. The action of polishing is very similar to the way an electric toothbrush works. A pumice or polishing paste is usually used together with a brush or rubber cup.