Scaling

  1. What is scaling?
  2. How long does scaling take?
  3. The results of teeth scaling
  4. What is the price of scaling?
  5. How often can you do scaling?

 

Scaling is a procedure of removing tartar from teeth. It is fast, usually painless and safe. It helps to keep the mouth healthy and, when performed regularly, prevents serious consequences such as periodontitis or tooth decay.

 

1. What is scaling?

Scaling is one of the procedures aimed at removing mineralised bacterial plaque from the dental enamel (aka stone). Dental plaque results from genetic predisposition, nutritional mistakes and inadequate oral hygiene. It provides an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. Over time it hardens due to calcium saturation. It is impossible to remove it by brushing or flossing the teeth. Solid, rough masses irritate the gum and are a source of many periodontal diseases.

Scaling can be divided depending on the technique used or where the tools work.

The gums are the border line by which we distinguish subgingival and supragingival scaling. The first procedure is focused both on the removal of tartar and also on the smoothing of infected root cement.

For scaling a dentist/hygienist can use:

  • hand tools (curette, hoes, files);
  • scaler;
  • ultrasonic devices;
  • air (sound) devices;

Scalers are used to get rid of tartar above the gum line. In selected situations, the dentist or hygienist uses hand tools – the so-called curettes. They are suitable for both supragingival and subgingival scaling. Ultrasound devices are becoming more and more popular due to their excellent results in removing supragingival deposits.

Supragingival scaling is a painless procedure. The subgingival scaling looks slightly different. Sometimes, if a thick layer of deposits has accumulated below the gum line, the dentist will be forced to perform deep scaling (curettage). Using manual curettes, the doctor gradually gets rid of tartar. Gingival manipulations can cause pain, so deep scaling can be performed under local anaesthesia.

After removing tartar, the dentist polishes the teeth. For this purpose, special rubber pads are used as well as polishing paste, enriched with fluorine to strengthen the enamel.

2. How long does scaling take?

Scaling is safe, painless and relatively quick. Depending on the number of arches covered and the amount of tartar mass, the doctor's working time may fluctuate. It usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to remove tartar.

Along with scaling, teeth sandblasting is often performed. The combination of both procedures allows to maximise the benefits and cosmetic effect, but extends the time spent on the dental chair by another 20-30 minutes.

 3. The results of teeth scaling

The main goal of scaling is to remove tartar. This can be achieved most often by crushing hard deposits with ultrasound or manual tools. Regardless of the method, the patient leaves the dental office with a refreshed smile. In this case, the important thing is not only the cosmetic effect but also the health benefits.

The tartar that builds up irritates the surrounding gums, causing inflammation (gingivitis) or other periodontal disease. Calcium deposits are also a great place for bacterial growth and the accumulation of compounds produced by microorganisms that have a negative effect on oral health. Organic acids are the main cause of enamel degeneration and teeth decay. The resulting defects give bacteria access to the soft tissues of the tooth. There is a dentine infection, and root canal treatment is often the only solution. The way to avoid a similar scenario is taking care of oral health, including regular visiting the dentist and performing a  scaling.

We get the best results combining scaling with teeth sandblasting. It is a procedure aimed at removing discoloration and deposits that may hide under tartar. The work of the dentist or hygienist makes it possible to get rid of nutrients on which bacteria thrive. The procedure also ensures that the smile is refreshed, smoother and brighter. Complex sandblasting with scaling gives great aesthetic and health results.

4. What is the price of scaling?

The total prices of scaling may vary, depending on the location, dental office, number of arches that have been subject to the procedure, and surgery type. The price for the removal of dental plaque from one arch is PLN 80-120. If the treatment is applied to all teeth, the price goes up to PLN 140-165. In case of deep scaling, the patient should be prepared for the cost of about PLN 200-300.

5. How often can you do scaling?

The frequency of scaling is very individual. It usually depends on the patient’s tendency to tartar depositions. It is usually recommended to perform the procedure once or twice per year.

Please remember about the contraindications for the procedure – speak with your doctor to choose the most optimal method of ensuring a beautiful smile. Ultrasound should not be used for people suffering from osteoporosis and/or having a pacemaker. Guidelines regarding pregnant women are unclear, too.

 

Scaling involves removing tartar. For this purpose, dentists or hygienists usually use ultrasound devices and curettes. The procedure usually lasts a little over half an hour. If performed once or twice per year, scaling will help protect against caries and serious periodontal diseases.

 

 

 

References

  • Periodontologia kliniczna cz. 1, Wierzbicka M. (red.), Warszawa, 1992
  • Wolf H., Rateitschak E., Rateitschak K.: Periodontologia, Lublin, 2006