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Teeth Scaling & Air Polishing

Dental Scaling, Polishing and Root Planning

Dental Scaling is defined as the removal of deposits around the tooth surface known as tooth plaque and calculus without removal of tooth structure. These deposits on the tooth surface may be above or below the gums.

Polishing of Teeth: Scaling of the tooth surfaces leaves the surfaces of the tooth with uneven deposits and these have to be removed to give the tooth a smooth polished surface. Polishing of the tooth surfaces is done with the help of polishing paste and air polishers.


Tooth Plaque and Calculus:

Tooth plaque is a colourless film that forms over the surfaces of the teeth. The tooth plaque, which remains on the surfaces of the teeth, is mineralized by saliva and other oral fluids to form a hard substance that covers initially around the necks of the teeth, near the gum line and is called calculus. If the calculus is not removed at the onset, it will continue to accumulate plaque and form layers of calculus over the existing calculus and will eventually start to traumatize the soft gum tissues surrounding the teeth and to gum disease.

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Effects of Tooth calculus:

  • Bad Breadth
  • Recession of the gum margins over the teeth to expose the root surface beneath the gums
  • Inflammation of the gingiva
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Pus formation
  • Gum disease


  • Good oral hygiene and appropriate brushing techniques are helpful in preventing the formation of the dental calculus.
  • Regular visits to the dentist once is six months
  • Scaling and polishing on regular intervals based upon the advice from the dentist.
  • Appropriate dietary regime to promote good oral hygiene

How to remove the dental plaque and calculus?

  • Ultrasonic scalers are used to remove the dental plaque and calculus from the teeth surfaces. The calculus deposits that are above the gingiva are called supragingival calculus.
  • Gingival Curettes are used to remove deep deposits below the gums and these are called subgingival calculus.
  • Root planning: It is the removal of the plaque and calculus that is below the gums (subgingival calculus) on the root surfaces of the teeth. The cementum (outer layer of the root surface) or root surface is planned to produce a smooth and clean surface to prevent further destruction of the tissues below the gums around the teeth. This procedure is also called deep cleaning. In some instances, patients may need to undergo local anesthesia for deep cleaning and may require several visits to complete the procedure.
  • Severe cases may require follow-up cleanings every 12 to 16 weeks. Scaling and root planning are highly effective treatments for periodontal disease and greatly minimize the risk of developing further complications such as jaw bone loss or loose teeth.

Importance of Dental Prophylaxis:

  • Regular professional tooth cleaning is called dental prophylaxis.
  • It forms one of the most important pillars of dental health.
  • A normal prophylaxis treatment will include evaluation of personal oral hygiene, instructions for brushing and flossing teeth, scaling above the gum to get rid of plaque and calculus (tartar), debridement of calculus located below the gum, polishing of the teeth.

In order to make sure that dental disease is diagnosed, patients should be sure to schedule regular dental cleaning sessions. While many patients with good oral hygiene need cleaning sessions only twice a year, patients with particularly high rates of calculus build-up may need prophylactic visits more often as advised by the dentist to prevent periodontal inflammation and tooth decay.

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