Teeth scaling and polishing

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

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Tooth scaling and polishing is a procedure that removes plaque and debris from the tooth’s outer surface, allowing the enamel to become glossy and smooth. This procedure removes extrinsic stains, such as those caused by tobacco or smoking, as well as plaque build-up, for cosmetic reasons.

Why do you need to do tooth scaling and polishing?

clean and polish teeth for a healthy and bright smile

To avoid oral health problems, a tooth scaling and polishing procedure is recommended. Here are some of the reasons why you should get teeth scaling and polishing treatment.

  • Plaque build-up leads to inflammation of the gums. Inflammation of the gums leads to bleeding and later tooth mobility.
  • Gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Decay of the tooth.
  • Poor oral hygiene.

Does it hurt to have your teeth whitened?

No, teeth-whitening treatment is not a painful procedure. Teeth-whitening treatments are used to restore the natural colour of teeth by removing stains and brightening your smile. This treatment is advised when you have a habit of high consumption of coffee, tea, or wine, which causes stains on your teeth, stains due to tobacco or cigarette smoking, more fluoride intake during childhood, and sometimes stains due to medications or medical treatments. The treatment is done in the dental office. The dentist takes an impression of your mouth and makes a tray. Then the dentist puts a whitening agent on the tray, fits it into your mouth, and lets it stay. Sometimes, for less staining, whitening strips or whitening gels are used. The dentist might also recommend that you follow home whitening methods. There are no such complications after treatment, but one can feel sensitivity for a few days, which resolves with time.

What is the difference between teeth whitening and teeth scaling and polishing?

Teeth scaling and polishing is the procedure used to remove plaque and debris from the outer surface of your teeth.

While teeth whitening is the procedure used to brighten your natural teeth by restoring the colour of your natural teeth, Teeth whitening is done with the help of whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

While scaling and polishing are either done by hand instruments or ultrasonic instruments, Teeth scaling and polishing remove plaque and debris from the tooth, resulting in less gum inflammation and better oral hygiene. While teeth whitening removes the stains and makes your teeth brighter.

Can you polish your teeth at home?

There are various over-the-counter polishing kits available on the market. They contain baking soda, activated charcoal, and other ingredients. These are abrasive materials that wear down your enamel. If you use this product in larger quantities and with greater force, your teeth will wear down; it damages your tooth surface, which may lead to more bacteria and plaque build-up.

Although this product is safe to use if the proper amount and less force are applied, it is recommended that you go to a dentist for better results. If you want to use polishing kits at home, consult your dentist for the best product and the instructions to be followed.

What precautions do you need to take after scaling and polishing your teeth?

There are no complications or risks associated with scaling and polishing. However, in order for treatment results to last longer, it is always preferable to take care after the treatment.

The following are some of the ways you can take precautions for the best treatment outcomes.

  • Brush gently and maintain oral hygiene.
  • Rinse with warm, salty water. This helps reduce inflammation and sensitivity.
  • Avoid having drinks such as coffee, tea, and cold drinks that stain your teeth.
  • Routine dental check-ups at a specific interval of time.

How much does teeth scale and polishing treatment cost?

The cost of treatment varies from clinic to clinic and from patient to patient. The dentist considers the amount of plaque build-up on your teeth, the presence of extrinsic stains, and the state of your oral health. It can, however, cost anywhere between INR 400 and 7000. 

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FAQs on tooth scaling and polishing

How many times do you need to do tooth scaling?

It is recommended to go for tooth scaling every six months.

What types of stains do scale and polishing remove?

Tooth scaling and polishing don’t work to reduce the discoloration of teeth. However, certain stains caused by coffee or tea, tobacco chewing or smoking, or any other cold beverage can be removed.

Does tooth polishing hurt?

 No, tooth polishing is not a painful treatment. But sometimes one can feel gum soreness or sensitivity for a few days. This will resolve itself.

Can tooth scaling and polishing damage teeth?

No, if done correctly, it doesn’t damage teeth or the surrounding tissues.

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