Scaling may be defined as the procedure to remove tartar and dental plaque. The treatment aids in preventing inflammation of the gums, tooth decay and periodontal disease. The recommended periodicity is one to two times a year.
Supragingival scaling can be performed with both hand tools and ultrasonic instruments. The effectiveness of both methods is similar. If necessary, this procedure can be performed under local anesthesia.
The effectiveness of scaling depends on the precision of polishing the surfaces of the teeth. In the case of careless scaling, the remaining rough surfaces of the teeth might cause a rapid build-up of plaque as well as tongue and cheek irritation. Polishing is conducted using a special kind of polishing paste.
All methods of mechanical teeth cleaning (scaling with polishing) lead to the loss of the superficial layers of the enamel and dentin. In order to strengthen these surfaces, following the scaling the dentist uses products containing fluorine, calcium ions or phosphorus, all of which are natural components of a tooth.
The supragingival scaling treatment is indicated for patients with healthy periodontium. In cases of patients with periodontal inflammation, the treatment is an introductory and basic procedure that leads to further treatment including subgingival scaling and further specialist periodontal therapy.