Dental scaling and polishing is the removal of plaque and tartar deposits built up on the teeth and the polishing of the smooth surfaces of the teeth. This procedure is conducted during routine cleaning (prophylaxis) at a visit to the dentist. Scaling is a non-surgical procedure of removing dental plaque and calculus on the teeth. A slow speed hand tool polishes teeth to make them shiny and smooth. These procedures are useful for anyone but particularly useful to those with periodontal disease.
During dental scaling and polishing, there are a few different instruments used for various purposes. Often, ultrasonic devices produce ticklish vibrations that will be used first to loosen large tartar deposits. Then, hand instruments are used to remove smaller tartar deposits by scraping with moderate pressure. Finally, polishing is done at a slow pace with a soft, motorized tool and special toothpaste.