So, why do you need a ‘scale and polish?’
Your teeth come under constant attack from starches and sugars present in our food which are released as we eat. When this combines with plaque – the sticky bacterial film that forms on teeth over time produces an acid which is harmful to our teeth.
This plaque forms on the surface of and between our teeth and can also affect the gum line. If it is not removed then it will harden and form calculus or ‘tartar’ – a yellow or brown mineral deposit which causes the teeth to have a rough or ‘crusty’ appearance. This makes them vulnerable to further plaque attacks.
Plaque can corrode the teeth over time which causes cavities and tooth decay as well as bad breath. If it leads to tartar formation, especially around the gums, then gingivitis can occur. The danger with this is it can lead to the more serious periodontal gum disease and sometimes leads to losing the tooth or several teeth.
A scaling and polishing of teeth can remove plaque and leave your teeth feeling nice, smooth and white. This will also prevent bacteria sticking to them which in turn prevent the buildup of tartar. And, it will help avoid gum disease.
What does a scaling and polishing of teeth in Sharjah involve?
The ‘scale’ part of the procedure involves the dentist using an ultrasound device which emits vibrations to loosen large areas of tartar.
If your teeth are heavily stained then ‘air abrasion’ may be required. Air abrasion can be used as a tooth whitening method as well as preparing a tooth for a filling, and is often preferred than the dreaded drill.
This relatively new approach involves a machine which emits a fine stream of aluminum oxide particles that will remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. It is often referred to as ‘sandblasting’ as it ‘strips’ these deposits away from the teeth.
Once your teeth are beautifully smooth, the dentist will then give them a polish. This means using a hand piece with a soft, spinning rubber cup which is applied to your teeth. A special paste called a ‘prophylaxis’ is inserted into a cup and together with the spinning cup, will give your teeth a shiny appearance.
As a final flourish, the dentist may apply fluoride. Fluoride is good at strengthening the teeth as well as providing essential minerals to any teeth that have been eroded by acid.
Does scale and polish hurt?
A scale & polish tends to be painless with many patients reporting ‘tickling’ or ‘scraping’ sensations. It is likely to be painful if you have sore gums, badly worn teeth or a dentist who is less than gentle. However, a topical numbing gel can be used which is a form of local anesthetic that freezes the area to be treated.