Scaling and Polishing – 6 common questions about them

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Regular scaling and polishing will improve your oral health, clean surface stains and reduce the risk of gingivitis, gum disease and dental decay.

What is scaling and polishing?

What is scaling and polishing? The act of eliminating plaque and tartar accumulation around the teeth and polishing the smooth surfaces of the teeth is known as dental scaling and polishing. This approach is used when visiting the dentist for routine cleaning (prophylaxis).

To maintain their teeth healthy, everyone should brush their teeth twice a day and ideally rinse with mouthwash after meals. However,  plaque and tartar can still form in some cases.

Plaque and tartar
What is scaling and polishing?

This is caused by a bacterial film in the mouth and on the teeth. Calcium is a mineral present in saliva that is necessary for teeth to remain strong and healthy. When you eat anything, it breaks down into starch or sugar, which mixes with bacteria and raises the acid content in your mouth. This atmosphere is likely to discolor the enamel and harm the roots.

Brushing your teeth and getting deeper dental cleanings such as scaling and polishing are thus the best methods for protecting against plaque and tartar.

While scaling is usually done on the surface of the teeth, it can also be done on the roots, especially if periodontal pockets have already formed. This happens when the bacteria have spread to the gums. This is referred to as root planing.

Polishing, on the other hand, smooths the teeth, which might leave them feeling rough. As a protective barrier, the dentist may apply a small quantity of fluoride throughout the treatment.

For some years, scientists have debated the significance of polishing. Some of them think that it should only be done when it is extremely necessary. Furthermore, to avoid damage, the teeth should not be supplied with too abrasive equipment. As a consequence, before you have scale and polishing, the dentist will go through all of the advantages and disadvantages with you.

Who is the candidate?

Scaling and polishing should be considered by people of all ages in order to achieve optimal dental health. After the damage has begun, a more complex dental procedure may be required.

Patients who already exhibit signs of dental disease are still being treated since the surgery can delay the disease’s progression. One of the most prevalent signs is bleeding gums after cleaning the teeth.

If you have terrible breath, you should think about getting a full cleaning including scaling and polishing. If you have bad breath, you should consider a thorough cleaning that includes scaling and polishing. Bacteria can release substances that contribute to bad breath as a result of their metabolic activities. Poor breath, or halitosis, can occasionally be a sign of gum disease.

Depending on the intensity of the stains and the position of the teeth, the treatment may require one or more thorough cleaning sessions to get the desired results. Scaling using an ultrasonic device may cause some discomfort. As a result of the prolonged opening of the mouth, the teeth may go numb and the jaw may pain. The entire treatment might take at least an hour.

Scaling and polishing procedure

What is scaling and polishing procedure? Dentists will begin by applying local anesthetic to the gums and teeth to alleviate discomfort. Scaling is then performed by the dentist using a range of tools.

The dental hygienist will frequently begin by vibrating the teeth using ultrasonic equipment to remove bigger, more visible deposits. As the treatment progresses, the machine releases a cooling water mist to clean up the waste. To clear the deposits, the patient may be asked to spit on occasion.

After removing the large deposits, the dentist may turn to hand scalers of various sizes. Even while using them may lengthen the process, they provide the dentist more control since they can reach deeper locations that the ultrasonic equipment cannot. They can also be used to remove tiny deposits, particularly those caught between teeth.

Scaling and polishing 
Scaling and polishing procedure

The patient may not be allowed to eat or drink anything for the first 30 to 60 minutes, but they are free to resume their usual activities after that.

A fluoride treatment procedure

Dentists administer fluoride treatments in the form of a foam, gel, varnish, or rinse. The treatment can be performed using a brush, tray, swab, or mouthwash. Once scaling is complete, the dentist can continue polishing with a handpiece and a cup filled with dental rubber. The paste, which is frequently formed of fluoride, is then placed to the rubber cup. The dentist uses the handpiece to smooth the newly cleaned portions of the teeth.

The fluoride of these treatments is far higher than that of your water or toothpaste. It only takes a few minutes to put them on. Following treatment, the patient may be restricted from eating or drinking for the first 30 to 60 minutes, but they are then free to resume their usual activities.

 

Flouride
Flouride

How much does a fluoride treatment cost?

Insurance usually covers fluoride treatments at the dentist for children. Adults, however, may pay 230.000 VND to 690.000 VND out of pocket, or more. At our clinic, you are free to choose your installment plan through credit cards from various banks such as Vietcombank, Sacombank, VPBank, HSBC,… The installment process is quick and very simple.

How much fluoride do you need?

Depending on your dental health, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests a professional fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office every 3, 6, or 12 months. If you have a high risk of cavities, your dentist may additionally recommend a specific fluoride rinse or gel to use at home on a regular basis.

The following can increase your risk of cavities:

  • excessive drug or alcohol use.
  • eating disorder.
  • poor oral hygiene.
  • lack of professional dental care.
  • poor diet.
  • dry mouth, or decreased saliva.
  • weak enamel.

Common sources of dietary fluoride include:

  • tea.
  • water.
  • food cooked in water.
  • fish eaten with their bones.
  • infant formula.

Optimal fluoride intake comes from food, water, and supplements. The following recommended daily amounts of fluoride:

  • Birth to 3 years of age: 0.1 to 1.5 milligrams (mg).
  • 4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 2.5 mg.
  • 7 to 10 years of age: 1.5 to 2.5 mg.
  • Adolescents and adults: 1.5 to 4 mg. 

Fluoride for children

If your child is under the age of three, they should only wash their teeth under your supervision. They should only use a little coating of fluoride toothpaste on their toothbrush. The toothpaste should not cover more than half of the bristles and should not be larger than a grain of rice.

For kids aged 3 to 6, pea-sized fluoride toothpaste is advised. You should keep an eye on your children when they brush their teeth to ensure they spit out the toothpaste.

What are the advantages of fluoride?

Fluoride replenishes minerals that have been destroyed by microorganisms on tooth surfaces. Furthermore, it can restrict the growth of dangerous oral germs and help prevent the development of future cavities.

“Fluoride cannot remove decay but, while creating a stronger outer surface to your teeth, it can help stop the decay from penetrating into the deeper parts of teeth,” says Chicago dentist Dr. Niketa V. Shah.

Fluoride has advantages for both children and adults. The earlier fluoride is introduced to youngsters, the less likely they are to acquire cavities. A large study found that children and adults who received fluoride treatments for one year had a 43% decreased chance of getting cavities and tooth decay.

Prior to the inclusion of fluoride in toothpaste, research revealed that those who drank fluoridated water had a 40-60% decreased likelihood of having cavities. The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that fluoride be present in trace amounts in drinking water.

Are there side effects to fluoride?

Too much fluoride, like any prescription, can have unanticipated negative effects. Fluoride overdoses can arise as a result of inadvertent overdosing or being given an excessive quantity by a doctor. Fluoride poisoning is currently extremely rare, despite the fact that long-term fluoride overexposure can impair young children’s growing bones and teeth. Many children’s toothpaste are fluoride-free.

Too much fluoride can cause:

  • white specks on mature teeth.
  • staining and pitting on teeth.
  • problems with bone homeostasis.
  • very dense bones that aren’t very strong.

Acute poisoning can result from taking too many fluoride supplements:

  • nausea.
  • diarrhea.
  • tiredness.
  • excessive sweating.

It could even result in death. Fluoride supplements must always be kept out of children’s reach.

Do you need to use toothpaste?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and rinsing after meals is the most effective way to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. Floss or an interdental tooth cleaning can reach tooth surfaces that a toothbrush cannot.

Brushing your teeth requires friction and movement. Even if you brush your teeth with only water, using toothpaste containing fluoride and other cleaning agents can dramatically increase the advantages of brushing.

Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources but adding trace amounts of fluoride to tap water is especially beneficial for people without regular visits to a dentist.

There are two methods to consume fluoride:

  • topically from toothpaste and treatments at the dentist.
  • systemically through water and nutritional supplements.

The takeaway

Cavities are avoided by the natural mineral fluoride. It replenishes minerals in tooth enamel and stops the growth of dangerous oral germs. An excessive amount of fluoride may have negative side effects.

Overall health and other physiological processes are significantly impacted by oral health. In order to look after your mouth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day in two minutes.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Avoid sugary snacks and beverages.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Visit a dentist at least once a year.

Q&A

How frequently should I have my teeth scaled and polished?

This varies greatly depending on your oral health and dental habits. The most usual response is once every 4-6 months, however this is not always the case. Several factors, such as the ones listed below, may necessitate more regular professional cleaning:

  • Smoking.
  • Diabetes.
  • Tea/Coffee/Wine staining.
  • History of gum disease or decay.
  • Bad breath.

Remember that your dentist can only assist you if you show up at your appointment on time. Early detection and preventative treatment are the most effective strategies to safeguard your teeth. 

Do I have to get scaling and polishing done if I have been brushing and cleaning them well?

Without a doubt. Even dentists are obliged to get scaling and polishing done on a regular basis.

Plaque can just accumulate in too many difficult-to-reach nooks before we can remove it with brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing will not eliminate plaque that has hardened into tartar, and scaling will be advised.

However, rigorous brushing and cleaning habits will allow us to complete the scaling and polishing phase faster.

Is scaling and polishing bad for my teeth?

Many people avoided scaling and polishing in the past because they believed it was dangerous to scrape their teeth, or because they experienced sensitive teeth or receding gums following treatment. But these are merely common misconceptions. There is no need to be afraid when you are in the hands of skilled dentists who are capable of doing this job without causing harm to your teeth.

Is scaling and polishing of teeth painful?

The scale and the polish process should not cause any discomfort, however, you may notice some unusual mouth sensations. As a result, your gums may suffer scraping or tickling. A numbing gel may be used if you are really concerned about any tooth discomfort.

Scaling procedure
Scaling procedure

Is polishing necessary after scaling teeth?

While not necessarily essential, polishing teeth after scaling can help remove stains and bacteria from dental roots that the usual scaling treatment could not reach and remove. Because tartar formation is hard to eliminate with regular brushing, everyone should polish their teeth.

What not to do after scaling and polishing teeth?

  • While your mouth is still numb, avoid eating anything.
  • On the first day, don’t eat tough, crunchy, grainy, or challenging foods.
  • In 48 hours, avoid drinking hot beverages.
  • In 48 hours, avoid mouthwash.

Below is an article that Lang moi shares for you, if you have any questions that need to be answered, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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