Scaling / Clean-ups

Have you ever noticed some stains on your teeth that just don't go away? You even start brushing harder to try and get them out.

These stains are actually plaque and tartar that have attached themselves extremely firmly to your tooth and require a professional clean up or dental scaling procedure to remove them to get your mouth back in good condition.

If you have healthy gums, the tissue will fit tightly around the tooth and keep plaque out. However, if gum disease begins to form, this tissue will loosen. Healthy gums attach to the tooth just 1 to 3 millimeters below the gumline. With gums that are slightly receded from your teeth (gum recession) or gum disease (swollen gums), you’ll begin to develop deeper pockets. These can fill with plaque, worsening your problems and causing symptoms like bad breath(also swelling leading to swollen gums and bleeding gums) and that’s when we may recommend scaling.

Everyone experiences some form of plaque build-up. The saliva, bacteria, and proteins in your mouth form a thin layer that covers your teeth at almost all times. When you eat, tiny particles, acids, and sugars from the food stick to this film, creating a build-up on the teeth known as plaque. The bacteria that lives in this plaque can cause gum disease (periodontal disease) and tooth decay.

There are many forms of periodontal diseases. The most common ones include :
  • Gingivitis - The mildest form of the disease, gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swell and bleed easily(swollen gums /bleeding gums). There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment by our gum specialist also known as a periodontist and good home care.
  • Mild Periodontitis - Gingivitis, if left untreated, can advance to periodontitis. In the mild stage, periodontal disease begins to destroy the bone and tissue that support the teeth. You might experience pain on chewing or a continuous itch in the gums, swollen gums, bleeding gums and bad breath.
  • Moderate – Advanced Periodontitis - In the mid-stages, periodontal disease can lead to more bone and tissue destruction. The most advanced form of the periodontitis includes extensive bone and tissue loss. Dental pain may surprisingly be mild to moderate. Teeth often become loose and may have to be removed.

Dental scaling or Dental Clean-up is the most common non-surgical way to treat gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis. This will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help your gums regain health and save your teeth in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

A potentially harmful bacterial film called plaque is constantly forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky, colourless substance that can eat away at your enamel (the hard-outer covering of your teeth) and cause cavities. If you don't get rid of plaque often enough, it can harden into what’s known as tartar or calculus, which can cause gum disease (swollen gums/ bleeding gums).

You really want to avoid plaque turning into tartar and this is where dental appointments come in. Even the most skilled brusher and flosser can't remove tartar themselves. This is the reason why getting a thorough professional clean up regularly is of the utmost importance.

Our very own gum specialist will diagnose your underlying condition and issues during the initial consultation. Your treatment will usually begin with a general clean up or scaling and polishing procedure.

Dental scaling is a very common treatment for patients with gum disease. Scheduling dental scaling as needed can help you battle unseen plaque and maintain a cleaner mouth. If we indicate that you need a deep cleaning, don't hesitate to schedule this appointment. The result is a fresher smile that you're sure to enjoy.

Please do ensure that you have given us a complete and accurate medical history. We must be informed of certain conditions like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and if you are on any kind of medication on a daily basis especially blood thinners.

The procedure can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, so precautions may need to be taken to treat gum disease (especially those with swollen gums or bleeding gums) in people who are at increased risk for infections, such as those with heart problems, liver disease or a compromised immune system due to an illness.

A regular clean-up is a painless procedure and usually does not require anaesthesia. However, in some cases of gum recession and sensitivity we would anaesthetise those areas of the mouth to make the procure more comfortable for you.

While sitting in a comfortable reclining chair, we will begin by examining the teeth and gums, assessing where plaque is most prevalent and the gums' health, before starting.

Our dental team and gum specialist use a variety of tools to clean the teeth, which include a small mirror, a variety of scalers (hook-like instruments with a pointed tip), a tooth polisher with an assortment of different sized heads, a small water hose, and a suction hose. Scalers gently work off stubborn, hard bits of tartar in the harder to reach places on the teeth surfaces, such as between teeth, just below the gum line, and some nooks on crowns. If your gums are swollen and tender and if the bleed easily you can expect bleeding during the procedure. This will stop by the end of the procedure. However, you might experience some mild bleeding during the next 24 hours. If this bleeding is excessive and does not stop please do not hesitate to contact us.

We use mild abrasives in conjunction with flavoured polish, which is sweet tasting, but feels like gummy sand. We apply the polish with the polisher and gently rub off what's left of the tartar and literally polish the enamel. After rinsing, the teeth feel silky smooth.

Next is a professional flossing. We floss your entire mouth to ensure that any loosened bits of plaque are not left behind in between the teeth or below the gum line. Sensitive gums may bleed a little. Throughout the standard cleaning session, we will instruct you to rinse away bits of debris, detached tartar and plaque, and the remaining grains of the tooth polish.

Teeth scaling and root planing may take more than one trip to our clinic. At Therapeuo we usually recommend that you return for a follow-up appointment to make sure the procedure worked well and that you haven’t developed any complications.

If your gums are swollen and tender and if the bleed easily you can expect bleeding during the procedure. This will stop by the end of the procedure. However, you might experience some mild bleeding during the next 24 hours. If this bleeding is excessive and does not stop please do not hesitate to contact us. This is especially important.

We also may recommend coming back for another procedure if the gum pockets didn't shrink.

You should resume normal oral care procedures after your teeth scaling and root planing. This includes brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing regularly. You should also eat a healthy, balanced diet and visit us for regular cleanings to prevent the condition from returning.

In fact, we usually place all our patients on a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule, returning for regular cleaning every three to four months or a standard cleaning every six months as per need basis.

Instructions to Minimize Symptoms

Diet/Eating - Chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable; this should last no longer than a few days. A soft diet would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.

Discomfort/Pain/Sensitivity - If a local anaesthetic was used, avoid chewing food until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If tooth sensitivity persists, use a desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrite. If the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

Oral Hygiene - If gum tissues are tender, brush your teeth gently but thoroughly; this may take a little more time than normal. By the third to fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques can be resumed. Mouth rinsing is recommended with either of the following solutions:
(1) an antimicrobial rinse
(2) a warm saline rinse. Use of these rinses should be limited to one to two weeks.

Did You
Know ?

Professional cleaning not only levels the field, it saves our permanent teeth, our health, and our pocketbook. Consider this as against the cost of stress, money and time it would take to undergo a root canal, or a tooth extraction, or a dental implant!

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Average treatment time :
30 to 45 minutes

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Average No of sittings :
Single sitting

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