Treatments » General Dentistry

Scaling

What is scaling? (Cleaning)

Correct dental care can help you keep your teeth healthy for a life time. Scaling is one such procedure, which keeps your gums healthy and firm. It is a procedure used to remove infected deposits like plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth surface. Such deposits, if not removed by scaling, can cause infection and loosening of gums, ultimately leading to pyorrhea and tooth loss.

Scaling is a safe and routine dental procedure, and does not damage the tooth surface in anyway. It must be done by a dental professional.

What is plaque?

Dental plaque is a soft, sticky colorless film of bacteria and food particles that constantly forms on the teeth. The bacteria colonize and multiply rapidly in this film, and initiate infection of the gums, leading to tender, bleeding gums. If dental plaque is not removed within 10-14hrs by brushing, it mineralizes into calculus or tarter. Calculus once formed, cannot be removed by brushing and has to be removed by scaling by a dentist.

Why is scaling done?

Regular tooth cleaning by the dentist, is important to remove calculus or tarter, that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing. Scaling is a non-surgical treatment for removal of infected deposits – tarter or calculus, from the tooth surface. These deposits, if not removed, will lead to periodontal (gum) disease. In gum diseases, the pocket between the tooth and the gum deepens. This provides a perfect environment for the bacteria to grow and develop. The resulting infection can lead to more destruction of the gum and the supporting bone, leaving the tooth to become progressively loose. The treatment now becomes more complicated, and gum surgery may be required to save the tooth.

What is the procedure?

Scaling involves deep cleaning of the tooth above and below the gum line, in order to remove any plaque and calculus that has accumulated on the tooth. This involves the use of special instruments and or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. Commonly, an ultrasonic machine is used. It has a fine tip which vibrates and removes the deposits. As the vibrations are extremely fine, the process does not damage the tooth surface in anyway.

How frequently should scaling be done?

Good oral hygiene prevents, and is vital to the treatment of many of the dental and oral disorders. Good oral hygiene results in a healthy mouth. Moreover, the mouth is gateway to the whole body. A healthy mouth ensures a healthy body to a great extent.

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