Scaling or tooth cleaning is one of the most common procedures that a dentist performs at a dental clinic.
This procedure is essentially necessary to remove the plaque and tartar (grey, yellow, brown hard deposits on the teeth near the gums) which are one of the main causative factors of gum disease.
Why is scaling or tooth cleaning required?
A few minutes after you brush your teeth, a very thin layer made up of saliva, proteins, and bacteria (also called the pellicle) is formed around the tooth surface which acts as a base for bacterial attachment and growth. A few hours after brushing of a variety of bacteria along with sugar from the food you eat attaches to this pellicle forming a pale yellow or white sticky substance known as dental plaque. If plaque is left as it is, it gathers minerals from the saliva and forms a harder substance called tartar also called as calculus. Both these are detrimental for the health of the gums and can cause gum disease, which on progressing, can manifest as periodontal disease or advanced forms of gums disease.
Professional cleaning or scaling helps remove plaque or calculus from around your teeth and thus helping in Reversing gum disease and most importantly preventing the progression to periodontal disease
MYTHS ABOUT SCALING:
- MOBILITY OF TEETH:
Scaling does not cause mobility of teeth. It is the long standing deposits of plaque and calculus around teeth and gums which lead to bleeding of gums and weakening of bone. Infection in bones causes loss of support resulting in teeth become mobile. Scaling on the contrary stops the mobility of teeth!
- CAUSES GAPS BETWEEN THE TEETH:
Again the deposits around teeth cause the bone loss around your teeth, thus leading to your gums reducing in height (also called as recession) and create spaces between them. After scaling is completed tarter is removed and this gives a feeling of gaps in between the teeth.
- SCALING IS PAINFUL:
It is actually a painless procedure if done as a prophylactic habit. Sensation of slight scraping of hardened mass of deposits is felt during the procedure at ivory smiles dental clinic is generally done after the application of a topical gel or a spray before commencing the procedure.
- IT CAUSES SENSITIVITY:
After the scaling is completed our teeth and roots gets exposed to the environment which may cause transient and mild sensitivity in some patients but it usually vanishes within a day or two. In patients who have advanced gum diseases, further procedures might be required on subsequent visits, but in the interim period a desensitising paste and a mouthwash is often prescribed.
- ENAMEL IS REMOVED DURING SCALING:
Enamel is the outermost and hardest layer of tooth. It cannot be damaged easily or removed by scaling. Scaling removes only the calculus deposits around teeth. After scaling is completed polishing is done to create smooth surfaces on tooth.
REALITIES OF SCALING:
- One should visit the dentist every six months to get the scaling done. Biannual scaling is highly recommended by all our specialists.
- Our specialists examine and would advise you how to maintain oral hygiene, brushing techniques and at what interval scaling is required.
- Before commencement of any other procedure like a root canal treatment, dental implant surgery or even a denture scaling is necessary as the first line of treatment.
- Scaling is also safe during pregnancy. In fact we urge all the Mom’s and the Mom’s to be to visit us for regular scaling appointments to prevent a variety of gum infections that can flare up during gestation.
How often should you get it done?
Your Chief Periodontist,Dr Amruta Dash will be the best judge of how often you need to get it done. Most dentists recommend a twice a year routine. If you maintain your oral hygiene exceptionally well, then a yearly visit for professional cleaning is recommend.
Will there be bleeding?
If there are only superficial tartar deposits, it may not be painful and would experience very mild bleeding. However if there are deep deposits, our specialist dentists would use local anaesthesia in the form of gels, sprays before the procedure. Bleeding can be expected in advanced cases of gum disease where there is a lot of gingival inflammation. This usually stops as soon as the deep cleaning procedure is completed.
We would also recommend some mouthwashes and topical gels to be applied after a deep cleaning procedure to help you with the bleeding.
Will scaling be enough to reverse my gum disease?
In case of initial stages of gum disease, scaling may be all you need. However, if the gum disease has progressed to further stages like periodontitis, further treatments like root planning, Laser deep cleaning/laser curettage, flap surgery and bone grafting procedures may be required.
Feel free to schedule your appointments with our Chief Periodontists and Implantologist,
Dr Amruta Dash today. For appointments call 9008647868 or 080-42229797