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Most will be very familiar with the term ‘scale and polish’ as it is a very common treatment that nearly everyone undertakes when they visit the dentist regularly. Scale and polish treatment is carried out either by dentists or dental hygienists (check out the difference between these two professions here)

From a cleaning perspective, the trouble with teeth is their shape. No matter how good we are at cleaning them, there is always some area where we can’t reach or can’t get to, yet these areas still need to be cleaned. Unfortunately, these ‘inaccessible’ areas are where bacteria are most likely to build up and cause damage. Most bacteria (plaque) is removed by brushing, but in places we can’t reach, the plaque eventually turns into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. Left untreated, this can cause many problems, including gum issues, tooth decay or even tooth loss.

This is why it is recommended to visit the dentist or hygienist for a regular scale and polish. Professional dental cleaning has a few advantages over your ordinary oral hygiene routine. This is because 1) they can see and therefore reach all areas and 2) they have specialised equipment that is more powerful and precise than we find in our bathrooms.

Scale and polishes typically consist of the following steps:

  • Firstly, a type of electrical instrument called a scaler removes the toughest and most stubborn plaque and tartar. The scaler rotates at high speed and is usually combined with a water jet to ‘flush’ the dirt away.
  • Secondly, the dentist or dental hygienist will normally have a range of manual tools at their disposal to help complete this part of the job. These manual tools often come in different shapes and sizes, so practically every area or space can be accommodated. This allows them to remove from all areas of the teeth, thus protecting your mouth and gum line to the best possible extent.
  • Thirdly, the procedure is concluded with a polish. This is similar to teeth cleaning as we all know it. A small circular brush rotates to clean all areas of the teeth, with toothpaste used as the polish.

After undergoing this treatment, you will notice how white your teeth look and how fresher your mouth feels. Scale and polishes are generally not painful experiences. The idea is you visit the dentist or dental hygienist regularly (every six months), so anything that has built up is dealt with, and then you are good to go until the next time. Problems can occur when teeth and not regularly professionally cleaned and so it can be harder work to scale the plaque or tartar away. This is when the procedure is likely to be a little uncomfortable.

As well as treating dental conditions, the Ascent Dental Care dentists and dental hygienists, located in Loughborough, Malvern, Solihull and Tamworth, are present in an advisory and preventative role also. So next time you visit your dentist or hygienist, talk to them about the best ways to keep your teeth clean in between your scale and polish appointments.

Book your scale and polish treatment with the skilled professionals at Ascent Dental Care in Loughborough, Malvern, Solihull or Tamworth. Find your nearest practice today!