Why You Need Regular Scale And Polish Treatments

Sometimes neglected by patients, this simple treatment can really benefit your whole mouth

fast dental careMost of us, when we visit a dentist, do so for the benefit of our teeth.

Whether we are going to receive actual treatment such as a filling, or simply to have our teeth checked, most of us want our teeth not to cause us any problems and increasingly, to look nice too.

This is all good of course, but patients should also pay equal attention to their gums, as well as their teeth.

However healthy your actual teeth are, they can still come under threat if you neglect the health of your gums. Gum disease can occur all too easily if you don’t take care of them. Initially causing problems, such as soreness and inflammation to the gums, gum disease can eventually start to affect the bone in which the tooth is held. As this becomes infected, it will deteriorate and the tooth can become loose and even fall out.

There are certain things you can do at home, such as brushing your gums as well as your teeth, and using floss. Equally importantly, you should see the hygienist at our handy Ipswich dental surgery at least every six months and more frequently if you are deemed to be at higher risk of gum disease.


At the Foxhall Dental Clinic, we believe that people should be guided towards maintaining better oral health. This should also reduce the need for any future treatment as the teeth will be healthier. Our dedicated hygienist plays an important role here and will be able to discuss various matters with you, including your own cleaning regime, diet and habits and how they might affect your oral health and finally offer advice on suitable mouthwashes etc. All in all, with a few changes to your lifestyle, you can start to improve the health of your teeth and gums.


Although the ‘scale and polish’ procedure that you will receive when you see the hygienist actively removes build-up of tartar from your teeth, it is also a preventative treatment in that it minimises the risk of gum disease reaching the more serious stage of periodontitis, where the bone can start to deteriorate. The treatment itself should cause no discomfort and rarely requires a local anaesthetic. It is made up of three different parts.

Manual scaling

Using a hooked implement, our Ipswich hygienist will remove the bulk of the tartar that has built up between your teeth and around the gums. Some people don’t like this part as you may feel a slight ‘pulling’ sensation as the tartar is removed, especially from between the teeth. It is not a painful experience though and the removal of the bulk of it is important before the next stage of the treatment commences.

Sonic cleaning

This stage uses a modern oral health care tool that produces sonic vibrations which shatter most of the hard crust of tartar that is left. This is entirely painless and is a great way of removing the tartar. As the vibrations shatter the tartar, a small jet of water also helps to wash it away. A suction tool is used to remove this to prevent too much of it being swallowed, although it is harmless if it is so there is no need for concern.

Although much of this part of the process could be done using a manual tool, it is generally thought that the sonic method is more comfortable for patients than if done by hand.

Final polish

Using a high speed brush, the hygienist will then polish your teeth. This will remove any remaining tartar and is also effective at removing some surface staining to your teeth as well. Once this part of the treatment has been completed, you will find that your teeth feel much smoother if you run your teeth over them. Your mouth will generally feel much fresher as well. In between your six monthly appointments, you should try to follow the hygienist’s advice and look after your teeth and gums as much as possible. Even if you feel that you have followed this to the letter though, please make sure to keep your appointments. There will always be small areas of your teeth that you haven’t cleaned as well as you thought and these may prove to be problematic if you start skipping appointments.

To make sure that your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible, why not make your hygienist appointment today? You can do so by calling the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 and our reception team will get you booked in at a convenient time.