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Scaling is a procedure of cleaning teeth with specialized instruments. Most of us have misconception that scaling weakens the teeth which is incorrect. Scaling in fact removes plaque from teeth and gums and makes them healthy. Plaque deposition leads to infection and results in loosening of teeth.

Continuous tartar and plaque deposition leads to halitosis (bad smell from mouth). Many patients keep on using mouthwash and chewing mint gums to get rid of bad smell, but the actual treatment is scaling. Scaling is of two types:

• Manual

• Ultrasonic

Indications of manual scaling are:

1. In patients having pacemakers manual scaling is recommended as ultrasonic scaler can alter their heart beat

2. Apprehensive patients who are afraid of ultrasonic machine.

3. In Children below 13 years of age manual scaling is preferred.

4. In mentally retarded patients manual scaling is advisable

5. If sensitivity is present in teeth then manual scaling is good for patient

Indications of Ultrasonic scaling are:

1. In Patients with heavy calculus and tartar deposits.

2. If deep scaling is required, then ultrasonic scaler is the only option.

Post Scaling Instructions:

• Use sensitive toothpaste for 1 week after scaling as in some case sensitivity persists.

• Do warm saline rinses for 2 days to get relief from heaviness in gums.

• In case of deep scaling avoid vigorous brushing till gums come to normal.

• Use gum pain as prescribed by dentist to tighten your gums and prevent pockets formation.

• Avoid excessive intake of tea and coffee as it stains teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many times at least scaling is advisable in a year?

There is no such rule; it depends upon the oral care and habits. If patients is having bad oral hygiene or taking some medicines which stains teeth then frequent cleaning of teeth is preferable. But if patient is maintaining good oral hygiene then at least once a year he should consult dentist for scaling.

Is scaling expensive?

No, scaling is not an expensive treatment.

Is there any pain during scaling?

No, scaling does not pain and if deep scaling beneath the gums is required then dentist always anesthetize that area to make the procedure painless.

Why tea and coffee stains teeth?

Tea and coffee contains nicotine which stains teeth and makes them look brown in color. Due to excessive intake, these stains turns into hard covering on teeth known as calculus which is difficult to get remove by toothbrush. Only scaling can remove calculus and make teeth healthy.

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