Hygienists and the art of the scale and polish
Here at Sheen Dental, we value our dental hygienist Richmond and what they do in providing our patients with a scale and polish. As well as charting, they are a stable core of our clinical team and a big part of our patients' experience.
The scale and polish is one of the most underrated dental procedures; it is quick, non-invasive and effective. Relating to how common the procedure is and with how reliable it is, constantly proving its effectiveness, we as dentists have come to take it for granted.
How a scale and polish is performed
The first stage in a thorough scale and polish is to remove tartar. This is a calcified form of plaque that can take quite a while to build up. But once it has established itself, there is no practical method of removing it at home, without serious risk to your enamel or gums. In the clinic, we use an ultrasound scraper that allows us to very precisely remove the majority of the tartar from the enamel surface. For more delicate areas a hand scraper is used to minimise any surface damage.
The second stage is polishing; the goal of this is to leave an extremely smooth surface on the enamel which makes it harder to establish a biofilm; this is the precursor to the plaque and the plaque is a precursor to tartar. Biofilms are also the origin of cavities, as they cause microbes. And so, by preventing them from forming, many dental issues can be preemptively nipped in the bud.
The scale and polish is focused on clinical need, but it has a wonderful side effect of giving a brighter shimmer to your smile and should be the first port of call before carrying out any dental whitening or bleaching.
In order to get the most out of the procedure and extend the time period before your next polish, we will recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and brushing twice a day. If you can disrupt the build-up of plaque before it calcifies into tartar, that will be far easier to manage.
Exactly how many root canals and fillings have been avoided by the scale and polish is hard to tell, but It must be in the thousands, making this simple procedure possibly the most effective way of maintaining the general health of your teeth and gums.
Although lacking the glitz and glamour of veneers or being as technically complex as titanium implants; the scale and polish, and our wonderful hygienist Richmond who practices it, are highly valued elements of our clinical team. Due to the clinical training of our hygienist Richmond, they are more than capable of spotting problem areas and alerting our dentists of any potential issue, making a scale and polish a very in-depth check-up of your teeth and gums.
If you have any further questions or would like to book an assessment with our dentist relating to one of our polishes please feel free to get in contact with the clinic. We are operating as usual in line with current government guidelines on infection control.