What happens during a scale and polish?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for a healthy and beautiful smile. However, brushing and flossing alone may not be enough to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. A routine scale and polish procedure to remove tartar buildup and stains from your teeth can prevent the need for complex dental work later on.
A scale and polish procedure is a professional teeth cleaning treatment that aims to remove plaque, (a sticky film that contains bacteria) stains, and tartar. Tartar is a hard calcified deposit that forms around teeth and can cause further decay. Here at the Indigo dental practice, we perform atraumatic supragingival and subgingival cleaning. What this means is our Jersey dentists will gently remove any tartar and plaque, using mild vibrations and cool water to wash away loose debris.
They also use dental mirrors to identify any issues in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Early gum disease can be treated with tooth scaling and cleaning, as well as advice on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If, during a scale and polish treatment, the later stages of gum disease are detected, further treatment may be necessary.
What are the benefits and risks of having a scale and polish dental treatment?
One of the most significant benefits of regular scale and polish treatments is that it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to cavities and periodontal disease, which can cause tooth loss and other serious health issues. By removing these harmful substances, a scale and polish treatment can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The procedure can also improve the appearance of your teeth. Stains from food, drinks, and tobacco can make your teeth look dull and discolored. Professional cleaning can remove these stains, leaving your teeth looking brighter and whiter.
The only real risk associated with a scale and polish is potential tooth sensitivity. During the cleaning process, the dentist or hygienist may use instruments that can cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort. In some cases, patients may experience bleeding or swelling in the gums. However, gaining cleaner teeth, and keeping yourself free from gum disease, is surely worth the risk of mild, temporary sensitivity.
Scale and polish consultation
Before you have your scale and polish, your dentist will ask you if you have any concerns about your teeth that may need addressing. An examination of your teeth and gums will then follow. If any dental problems are detected you may have an X-ray to further investigate.
Scale and polish treatment
Your dentist will use a special tool called a scaler to remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth. This process may take some time, especially if there is a significant build-up of plaque and tartar. Once the scaling is complete, your dentist will use a polishing tool to smooth out any rough spots on your teeth and give them a shiny finish.
Scale and polish aftercare
After the treatment, your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, to prevent plaque and tartar from building up again. Your Jersey dentist may also recommend using a mouthwash or other dental products to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Can a scale and polish remove stains?
Yes, a scale and polish procedure can effectively remove stains from the teeth. This dental treatment involves using a dental scaler to remove any tartar and plaque build-up from the teeth, followed by a polishing procedure to remove any surface stains.
Will a scale and polish help my bad breath?
Through removing deposits of plaque and tartar, a scale and polish can reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, which may help to improve bad breath. Additionally, the polishing component of the treatment can help to smooth out the surface of the teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to cling to them.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is often caused by bacteria that accumulates in the mouth, and these bacteria tend to thrive in areas where there is a buildup of plaque and tartar.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone that support the teeth. Caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, it can lead to an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, leading to tooth loss. Some of the symptoms of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose or shifting teeth. Later stage gum disease has also been linked to more serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Having a regular scale and polish will help prevent you from suffering the symptoms of gum disease.
Does having a scale and polish hurt?
This is a painless procedure. Most people only feel a mild discomfort or pressure during the cleaning process.
How often should I have a scale and polish?
Typically, a scale and polish is recommended every six months, but this may vary depending on factors such as the buildup of plaque and tartar, the health of your gums, and your overall oral hygiene habits. If you have a history of gum disease or other dental issues, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
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