WHAT IS A SCALE AND POLISH?
Scaling and polishing are two of the most common dental procedures intended for prophylaxis (or prevention of disease).
Everyone is advised to brush their teeth at least three times a day or after every meal to avoid teeth damage. However, there are cases where plaque and tartar buildup still occurs.
This happens because the mouth and the teeth have bacterial film. The saliva contains calcium needed by the teeth to keep them strong and healthy. As a person eats food, the food is converted into starch or sugar, which then combines with bacteria. As this cycle continues, the teeth are placed in a more acidic environment, which can cause stains and damage to the enamel and even the roots.
It is important, therefore, that regular brushing is complemented by a more thorough dental cleaning such as scaling and polishing.
Scaling is a dental process that involves removing the calculus deposits or stains on the teeth. It can be likened to scraping peeling paint on the wall.
Although scaling is performed on the teeth, it can also be applied to the roots particularly in cases when periodontal pockets have already formed. This happens when the bacteria have already invaded the gums. This process is known as root planing.
Polishing, on the other hand, is the process of smoothing the teeth as scaling can make the teeth feel rough. During this time, the dentist may also provide additional protection to the teeth by applying a small amount of fluoride.
For the past years, experts have argued over the necessity of polishing. Some of them believe that it should be performed only when it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the teeth should not be subjected to too many abrasive tools to avoid further damage. Patients, therefore, are advised to talk to their dentist to help them weigh the pros and cons before undergoing the dental procedure.