Dental cleaning involve removing plaque (soft, creamy, sticky, bacteria infested deposit) and tartar (calculus-stony hard deposit) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other minerals which harden and form calculus if plaque is not removed every day. This chalky deposit will eventually buildup over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth colored and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in color.
If the calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will lead to gum infection first which goes deep and causes bone loss. This process is painless, hence the patient remains unaware of the harm that is happening to him.
Cleaner or scaling and prophylaxis leaves your teeth feeling smooth and clean.
How are dental cleanings done?
The dentist uses specialized steel instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth.
Commonly used first is an ultrasonic instrument which uses gentle vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling spray of water while it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a proper temperature. The device typically makes a high pitched whistling sound which usually gets amplified inside your head, just like when you put an electric toothbrush into your mouth.
With larger deposits that have hardened on, it can take some time to remove these, just like trying to remove baked-on grime on a stove that has been left over a long time.
SCALING IS RECOMMENDED EVERY 6 MONTHS AND IS A GREAT PREVENTIVE TOOL TO KEEP THE TEETH HEALTHY. IT DOES NOT SCRATCH OR DAMAGE THE TOOTH IN ANY WAY.