Importance of tooth scaling and cleaning

The scientific definition of tooth scaling is the removal of biofilm and calculus from both supragingival and subgingival tooth surfaces. In normal terms, it is termed as a process used to remove infected particles such as debris, plaque, calculus, and stains from the surface of the tooth and also the subgingival portion. This procedure makes the teeth and gums healthy. It is also known as deep cleaning. When only the surface of the tooth is cleaned for better aesthetics, it is termed tooth cleaning. This is the only difference between tooth cleaning and tooth scaling.

Why do you need teeth cleaning/scaling?

The primary objective of tooth cleaning is to restore gingival health by removing the infected elements from the surface to reduce gingival inflammation.

Plaque build-up varies from patient to patient. A thin pellicle is formed by the saliva and it deposits the tiny particles of food we eat, and the acids produced stick to the film, formatting a plaque. When this is not treated, it gradually leads to below the gumline, resulting in pocket formation. This leads to chronic periodontal problems.

When do you need teeth cleaning/scaling?

Dentists recommend dental cleaning every six months. It is considered a golden rule to visit a dentist for a regular check-up every six months.

Some of the symptoms you experience will help you to know that you need a dental cleaning appointment. They are as follows:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, tender, swollen gums
  • Bad breath and odour

In some conditions, it is recommended to go for dental cleaning at a certain period of time. These conditions are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Tobacco use or smoking
  • Family history
  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medical conditions

What is the procedure for tooth cleaning and scaling?

There are two procedures a dentist can follow.

The first one is done by hand instruments. This includes the use of scalers and curettes, a metal instrument with a sharp tip to scrape the deposits off the surface.


The second one is done with the help of ultrasonic instruments. In this, there is a metal tip connected to a cool water spray. This vibrating metal tip chips off the plaque, and with the help of water flow, it is removed from the pocket.

young female patient visiting dentist-office for teeth cleaning scaling

Firstly, a visual examination is done with the help of a mirror and probe. Visual examination of supragingival and subgingival calculus below the gumline should be done with good lighting and a clear field. Compressed air may be used to produce a white chalky area. Tactile exploration below the gumline should be done with the help of explorers.

Next, if you experience sensitivity during the procedure, your dentist might use local anesthesia to reduce the discomfort.

Then they will start with a dental cleaning. This involves removing biofilm and plaque from the tooth surface and below the gum line. Any of the procedures listed above can be used by the dentist to remove the calculus and stains from the surface.

Along with dental scaling, root planning is followed. This involves the deep cleaning of the roots and smoothing the roots so that reattachment of the gingiva to the tooth takes place easily.

Lastly, the dentist asks you to rinse your mouth so that the scraped particles are removed thoroughly.


How many times does a patient need to visit to complete dental cleaning?

This depends on the dentist and the amount of calculus deposited around the gums. Sometimes a dentist divides it into two halves, so you need to visit twice.

In some cases, with a lesser amount of plaque deposited, the dentist can complete the procedure in one visit only. It also depends on the condition of the patient’s oral health.

Are there any side effects to tooth cleaning or scaling?

Well, NO, there are no such side effects after completing the procedure. Some may experience jaw discomfort, but this is mostly due to the mouth being open for a certain period of time.

One may experience sensitivity or bleeding, but this will resolve in a few hours or days. The dentist might recommend desensitizing toothpaste to relieve the discomfort. This pain is temporary and will disappear in a few days, but if not, consult the dentist.

Advantages of tooth cleaning/scaling:

  • Prevention of gum diseases
  • Prevention of tooth loss and bone loss
  • Prevention of tooth caries and cavities
  • No discoloration of teeth because of the removal of stains
  • Aesthetic smile
  • There is no foul odour or bad breath.

What will be the cost for tooth cleaning and scaling?

In India, the cost of treatment depends on the dentist that you are going to. Mostly, on an average, it ranges from INR 1000–1500. In the case of any additional investigation required, the cost can vary. Make sure to visit a reputed clinic for the best treatment outcome.

Which are the dental clinics recommended and located?

Oral health is very important for healthy living. Some are the best dental clinics, which I recommend for the best treatment and services provided. Below is the link to the clinic you can visit.


  • Dental cleaning is a common procedure for good oral hygiene and for periodontal diseases.
  • Dental cleaning will remove stains that discolor the teeth, and hence it will give a bright aesthetic smile.
  • It is advised to go for a dental cleaning every six months.
  • Good oral care leads to healthy oral hygiene and fewer chances of serious complications
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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: I am Dr. Aayushi Mehta and I am working as a freelance dental content writer at scanO (formerly DentalDost). Being a dentist, I wish to look into the writing area in the healthcare sector in order to assist individuals and provide the best content so they may know the truth rather than trusting internet rumours. imaginative, creative, and eager to share fresh insights and pick up new skills.

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