Scaling for a Completely Clean Mouth


Do you know that if plaque does not get removed in a timely manner, it hardens and turns into tartar? Tartar is virtually impossible to remove with flossing and brushing at home. That’s where the scaling procedure comes into play.


? What is scaling?

Scaling will remove stubborn tartar from your teeth and below the gum line. It is a deep cleaning procedure that will leave your mouth feeling refreshed and completely clean.

The dentist or hygienist will use an ultrasonic machine and other instruments to scrape off the tartar to lessen your chances of tooth decay and cavities. Tartar can also cause gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums.

After scaling is finished, planing will be completed to smooth out the roughness on the tooth’s surface. After scaling and planing, your teeth will be more resistant to plaque, and then the gums can return back to their healthy, pink state.


? What is the difference between teeth cleaning and scaling?

Great question. Regular cleanings every six months will remove the sticky plaque substance above the gum line. Scaling, on the other hand, will remove the hardened plaque (called tartar) at and below the gum line.


? What can patients expect from the scaling procedure?

An ultrasonic machine and other dental instruments will be used during the scaling process. We will try to make you as comfortable as possible during the process. To do so, we make sure your gums have been sufficiently numbed with anesthetics. Sedation may also be used, if necessary. The planing process will be completed after scaling.

Afterwards, you should still practice routine oral hygiene to keep the teeth and gums healthy.


? How do you know if you need scaling?

If your dentist or hygienist detected tartar build up, you may need scaling and planing. If your gums bleed or if you have other signs of gum inflammation (or gingivitis), you may need scaling and planing.

After the scaling and planing procedures, the gums will heal against the smooth tooth surface, which has been cleaned of bacteria, tartar, and plaque. If scaling and planing are not done in a timely manner, the gingivitis condition can worsen into more serious periodontitis, and the tartar will contribute to tooth decay and cavities.


? How do patients benefit from scaling?

  • Scaling removes tartar (or calculus), which will reduce tooth decay.
  • Scaling can reverse gingivitis before it turns into more serious gum disease.
  • After the scaling and planing procedures, your teeth will be free from tartar, plaque, and bacteria.

The benefits of scaling will last as long as the calculus remains off the teeth. With that said, some patients may need periodic scaling if he or she is prone to tartar build up, or doesn’t practice proper oral hygiene at home.