Scaling and Polishing

1 Scaling and Polishing is the professional removal of dental plaque(bacteria biofilm) and tartar ( calculus or hard deposits) from the teeth and gums.

2 As part of scaling and polishing, the dentist used an ultrasonic scaler. We also use curettes or hand instruments for debris inside the gum pockets.

3 Scaling and Polishing is advised twice in a year. For smokers and those with active disease, we would treat more frequently until oral health is achieved.


A routine visit to the dentist involves:

1 Update of medical and dental history

2 Check up and charting of teeth

3 Screening for decay, gum disease and oral health condition including oral cancer

4 Discussion with the patient about treatment

5 Scaling and Polishing

6 Xrays where indicated

7 Flouride application where indicated

8 Oral Hygiene instructions where necessary.



beautiful-beauty-casual-healthy gums

But first , what does healthy gums look like?

1 pink, flat and firm (pigmentation in some races common feature)

2 no bleeding on probing

3 no pocketing between teeth and gums

4 literally plaque and tartar free

Dental plaque (biofilm) is a soft, sticky layer that contains bacteria which regularly forms on the teeth and gums even after brushing teeth.

Plaque acts on food producing acids that can attack tooth enamel and gums resulting in

1 Acute and Chronic Gingivitis

2 Decay

3 Sensitivity of teeth

4 Halitosis or Bad breath

5 Periodontitis which is a more serious damage.


Tartar formation comes from the hardening of the unremoved dental plaque and food particles(48 hours) and they do become rock solid with time.

This results in

1 'joining' the teeth making flossing difficult.

2  gum recession resulting in spaces after cleaning and more food impaction

3 sensitive roots as they become exposed when tartar is removed.

*To attain this, regular checks, cleaning with the dentist and correct brushing and flossing techniques are necessary.