Dental scaling, cleaning and root planing, also known as prophylaxisis is the safe removal of plaque and calculus from the teeth and below the gums. When plaque is allowed to remain of the surfaces of the teeth and gum line, it can cause irritation, swelling, and gingivitis.
Scaling effectively removes plaque, bacteria and debris from the areas that your toothbrush and floss aren't capable of reaching.
Why is Dental Scaling Important ?
Plaque is a naturally occurring substance that exists on the surfaces of the teeth. When plaque combines with bacteria and food debris it hardens to form calculus,or tartar. The bacteria will make the plaque stick to the teeth and the food particles will cause it to harden. Once formed, plaque and tartar irritate the gums causing them to become inflamed, irritated, and infected with gingivitis.
If left untreated, the gingivitis will become periodontists. The tartar will spread further down below the gum line causing the gums to recede, and damage the supporting bone structure. This will cause the tooth to loosen and may ultimately result in tooth loss. So you see, oral hygiene is not simply what appears on the surface of a smile. You must take equal care of your gums, protecting them from plaque and bacteria just as you would your teeth in order to maintain a healthy radiant smile.
The Scaling Process
Your scaling process will begin as your Dental professional checks the gingival pockets (space between the teeth and gums) around the teeth by probing to better understand the state of your gums.
Next, your teeth will be checked for the formation of tartar, the hardened plaque which can range in color from yellow to black. Tartar can be detected underneath the gum line safely by your dentist by using the same probing method used in the first step.
Scaling is the process of removing the plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. The harmful substances are removed without damage to the tooth or gums.
The rougher parts of your teeth with then be smoothed. This will help prevent the future formation of bacteria as it will eliminate the tiny crevices that are utilized to collect debris and form into plaque. Also, by smoothing out the surfaces of the tooth, the gums are enables to reattach to the teeth at a higher level.
Lastly the teeth will be finished with a polish which will make it more difficult for plaque to adhere to the teeth.
At Home After Care:
It is important to keep in mind that although dental cleanings are a crucial part of maintaining your oral health, they are only part. In order to protect your teeth and gums against future decay and infection, you will need to follow up at home with a proper oral hygiene plan recommended by your Dentist.
If your gums have shown signs of inflammation, a good dental cleaning will definitely help and may even reverse the effect of gingivitis if you are consistent with brushing, flossing and rinsing in between your visits to the Dentist. Ask your Dentist how your can best take care of your teeth and gums at home to prevent the formation of plaque and calculus.