Over a period of time, plaque and calculus can build up on the teeth. The saliva in our mouth contains millions of bacteria. These adhere to the tooth surface forming plaque. Calcium within the saliva is then deposited on these bacteria to form calculus (scale). This hard deposit once formed cannot be removed by regular brushing.
It is important that calculus is removed as it is full of bacterial toxins which cause inflammation of the gums. If left in situ, calculus will cause the gums to recede from the teeth leading to eventual tooth loss.
Most of us at some point will need to have our teeth scaled. Scaling is the dental method used to help smooth the surface of the teeth so that bacteria are less able to adhere to the enamel surface.
Your teeth will be scaled by either your dentist or a dental hygienist. They will use hand scalers and/ or an ultrasonic scaler to remove the calculus build up.
Once all the calculus is removed and these teeth are clean, your dentist/ hygienist may use a polishing instrument to further clean and smooth the teeth. This will be with a brush or a rubber cup containing a prophylactic paste.
Scaling is an NHS Band 1 Treatment and the frequency at which this procedure will be prescribed by the dentist will vary according to your level of oral hygiene.