Are you experiencing a hard, yellow, or brown coating on your teeth and are looking for ways to get rid of it? You may need dental scaling. Dental scaling plays an important role in oral health care as it helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can lead to further issues like cavities and gum disease. Here we’ll discuss what dental scaling is, how it’s done, then you should get this procedure done, and more! Whether you’re scared or curious about this process – have no fear – we will explain everything there is to know about this minor yet essential oral therapy.

Types of Dental Scaling Procedures


This method uses hand instruments such as scalers, curettes, scrapers, and mirrors to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth manually. This technique is more time-consuming than ultrasonic scaling and can be more uncomfortable for the patient. Still, it allows the hygienist to pay close attention to each tooth and ensure that all plaque and tartar are removed.

Ultrasonic Scaling 

Ultrasonic scaling uses a device with a tip that vibrates at a high frequency to break up plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. This scaling method is faster than hand-scaling but may only sometimes be as thorough, so it is important to follow up with proper brushing and flossing after treatment.

Air Polishing or Power Scaling 

Air polishing or power scaling involves using a pressurized jet of air and baking soda or other abrasive substances to clean the teeth. This method is faster than hand-scaling and can be used on both soft deposits, but it can cause increased sensitivity in the teeth after treatment, especially if the plaque was present before scaling.

Risks and Complications Associated with Dental Scaling

Damage to the teeth and gums from over scaling or improper technique – Improperly scaled teeth can lead to enamel damage, gum recession, or even root exposure due to excessive force applied during the scaling process. Patients must be aware of these risks before they undergo the procedure so that they can inform their dentist if anything seems amiss during the scaling process.

Increased sensitivity in the teeth after treatment, especially if the plaque was present before scaling – Some patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity after a dental scaling procedure due to the removal of plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth. This can be mitigated by desensitizing toothpaste, avoiding highly acidic foods and beverages, and taking other preventive measures as your dentist or hygienist recommends.

Who Should Avoid Dental Scaling?

People with crowns, bridges, and other restorations – Those with existing restorations should avoid dental scaling as it can damage the restoration work or even cause it to become loose over time. Additionally, any new restorations should be performed after the scaling procedure so that the dentist can accurately assess any damage to the teeth before proceeding with treatment.

People with periodontal disease – Those with existing periodontal (gum) disease should avoid dental scaling as it may worsen their condition due to increased inflammation. Patients with this condition must discuss their options with their dentist or hygienist before undergoing the procedure.

Patients with certain medical conditions that may cause complications with anesthesia or other medications needed for the procedure – Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure can make it dangerous for a patient to undergo anesthetic used in dental scaling procedures. It is important to inform your dentist of any medical conditions before the procedure so that they can assess whether or not it is safe for you to proceed.

The Procedure of Dental Scaling

Pre-Scaling Assessment – Before beginning the scaling procedure, the dentist or hygienist will examine the teeth and gums to determine how much plaque and tartar have built up on the teeth and assess whether any other treatment is needed. X-rays may also be taken at this time to get a better look at the mouth’s condition.

Removal of Plaque and Tartar – Once the dentist or hygienist has determined the amount of buildup on the teeth, they will then remove it using either hand instruments, ultrasonic scalers, or power scalers. It is important to note that some areas may require more time and attention due to stubborn plaque and tartar buildup.

Post-Scaling Assessment – After scaling is complete, the dentist or hygienist will examine your teeth for any signs of damage, infection, or decay that may have been caused by scaling. If necessary, additional treatments such as sealants or fluoride treatments may be recommended in order to protect against further damage.

Aftercare for Dental Scaling

Taking prescribed antibiotics if necessary – If a dentist or hygienist prescribes antibiotics, it is important to take them as directed in order to prevent infection and other complications after the procedure.

Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to prevent plaque and tartar buildup – To ensure that plaque and tartar do not build up on the teeth again, it is important to brush and floss at least twice daily using the proper technique as instructed by your dentist or hygienist. Additionally, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can lead to further buildup of plaque and tartar.

Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings and checkups – It is important to schedule regular visits with a qualified dentist or hygienist in order to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked for any signs of decay or other oral health issues. This will help ensure your teeth remain healthy and free of plaque and tartar buildup between scaling appointments.

Avoiding foods that are hard or sticky as they could cause damage to the restored areas in the mouth – Certain types of food, such as hard candies, popcorn kernels, nuts, and chewy fruit snacks, can be damaging to restored surfaces such as crowns, and bridges as well as newly scaled teeth. To protect these areas, it is best to avoid these types of food and opt for softer, less sticky alternatives.

Wearing a custom mouthguard at night to protect the teeth and gums – To further protect the teeth from grinding or clenching during sleep, it is recommended to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard at night to keep your jaw properly aligned and reduce any strain on the teeth or gums.


Dental scaling is an essential part of oral hygiene that helps prevent gum disease and maintain a healthy mouth. If the biofilm remains in your mouth for too long, it could eventually cause plaque buildup, gum inflammation, and tooth decay. Regular scaling, brushing, and flossing can help ensure your teeth stay healthy. It is important to remember to book a cleaning session at least once a year, as recommended by the American Dental Association. Scaling treatments provided by experienced professionals, like those found at the San Gabriel Orthodontics office, will help you keep your gums and teeth healthy for life. If you’ve been looking for an office specializing in scaling services with friendly and knowledgeable staff, look no further!

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