Scale and polish
Remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up on your teeth. This is a ‘professional clean’ usually carried out by a dental hygienist.
The dental hygienist will scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth using a special instrument, then polish your teeth to remove marks or stains. If a lot of plaque or tartar has built up, you may need to have more than one scale and polish.
In some cases of gum disease or periodontitis, root planning (debridement) may be required. This is a deep clean under the gums that gets rid of bacteria from the roots of your teeth.
Before having the treatment, you may need to have an anaesthetic (painkilling medication) to numb the area. You may experience some pain and discomfort for up to 48 hours after having root planning.
They may only be recommended in severe cases of gum disease.
If you do not treat periodontitis, you may develop further complications, including:
- Recurrent gum abscesses (painful collections of pus).
- Increasing damage to the periodontal ligament (the tissue that connects the tooth to the socket).
- Increasing damage to the alveolar bone (the bone in the jaw that contains the sockets of the teeth).
- Receding gums.
- Loose teeth.
- Loss of teeth.