What You Need To Know About Scaling & Polishing and How To Prepare For It

Scaling & Polishing

Scaling and polishing are essential dental procedures that contribute to maintaining good oral health. While these treatments are commonly performed by dental professionals, many individuals may have questions about what to expect and how to prepare for these procedures. In this article, we will provide you with important information about scaling and polishing, including their purpose, the procedure itself, and how you can prepare to make the most of your dental visit.

Understanding Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and polishing are preventive dental procedures aimed at removing plaque, tartar, and surface stains from your teeth. Scaling involves the careful removal of plaque and tartar buildup from the tooth surfaces and below the gum line using specialised dental instruments. Polishing, on the other hand, smoothes the tooth surfaces and removes superficial stains, resulting in a cleaner and brighter smile.

The Importance of Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and polishing offer several benefits for your oral health:

Plaque and tartar removal

These procedures effectively eliminate plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Gum health

Removing plaque and tartar helps maintain healthy gums by reducing inflammation and preventing gum disease.

Aesthetic improvements

Polishing can remove surface stains, making your teeth appear whiter and enhancing your smile.

Early detection of oral issues

During scaling and polishing, your dental professional can detect any signs of dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, or oral abnormalities, allowing for early intervention and treatment.

How to Prepare for Scaling and Polishing

To make the most of your scaling and polishing appointment, consider the following tips:

Inform your dentist

Let your dental professional know if you have any dental concerns or underlying health conditions, or if you are taking any medications. This information will help them tailor the treatment to your specific needs.

Update your medical history

If any changes have occurred in your medical history since your last dental visit, inform your dentist. This includes any recent surgeries, medical conditions, or changes in medications.

Maintain regular oral hygiene

Brush your teeth thoroughly before your appointment and floss to remove any food particles or debris. This helps create a clean foundation for the scaling and polishing procedure.

Communicate with your dentist

If you experience dental anxiety or have specific concerns about the procedure, discuss them with your dental professional beforehand. They can offer techniques or options to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during the treatment.

What to Expect During Scaling and Polishing

During the procedure, you can expect the following:


In most cases, scaling and polishing does not require anaesthesia. However, if you experience sensitivity or discomfort, your dental professional may apply a local anaesthetic to ensure your comfort during the treatment.


The dental professional will use specialised instruments to carefully remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and below the gum line. You may hear scraping sounds, but the procedure should not be painful.


After scaling, the dental professional will use a rotating brush or rubber cup with a polishing paste to remove surface stains and create a smoother tooth surface.

Oral hygiene instructions

Your dental professional will provide you with oral hygiene instructions and recommendations for maintaining optimal oral health between visits.


Scaling and polishing are vital procedures for maintaining good oral health and a beautiful smile. By understanding the purpose of these treatments and preparing for your appointment, you can ensure a more comfortable and effective dental visit. Remember to maintain regular dental check-ups and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition. If you have any specific concerns or questions, consult with your dental professional, who can provide personalised guidance tailored to your oral health needs. Visit Thomson Dental Care for more dental services for improved oral health!