• Sheen Dental

What can you expect at a scale and polish appointment? Our hygienist provides the following guide

So, you have just had a dental check-up and have been advised to attend a hygiene based appointment for a scale and polish. If your dentist also spent some time cleaning your teeth in the check-up, you may be puzzled as to how a scale and polish differs.

And, more importantly, how does a cleaning performed by your general dentist differ from a hygienist appointment? We agree dental hygiene differences get a bit confusing!


At Sheen Dental, we are happy to have our hygienist Richmond to help us keep our patients' teeth clean and healthy and, should you ever need to visit them, there is nothing to worry about. In short, they are specialists in some very complicated areas of dental cleaning which, if you have a misaligned smile or braces, can save you a small fortune in restoration costs. Perfect!


So, what exactly is a scale and polish and what can you expect to happen during an appointment with our hygienist Richmond? Read on to find out!


What is a scale and polish?


A scale and polish refers to the tools which our hygienist Richmond will commonly use during a hygiene based check-up.


A scaler is similar to a drill, except it doesn't drill into the enamel; it vibrates and removes the most stubborn tartar from your teeth and then, using a jet of water, washes it away. A polish aims to restore your teeth to their former whiteness and can resemble a mini jet washer which removes deeply set stains and creates a whiter smile. Simple!

What will happen to my teeth?


Nothing really, except they will be cleaned thoroughly and left feeling fresh.


Our hygiene expert will make sure that every tooth in your mouth has had this treatment and, if you have misaligned teeth, they will ensure that any accumulated plaque is removed along with any hardened tartar.


Will it be uncomfortable?


It shouldn’t be but if you have concerns about discomfort, talk to our hygiene expert about having a numbing agent applied before they begin.


Post treatment, you may notice an unusual sensation in your mouth and, while most hygiene teams will avoid pulling on the gums, if there is plaque underneath the gum line, you can expect there to be some swelling and soreness afterwards.


This discomfort will recede in a few days.


Will I need to have this performed often?


The frequency with which a scale and polish are performed by our team depends on multiple factors.


For instance, they are more regularly applied to patients who have a history of gum disease or are currently experiencing periodontal issues. In these cases, we will often advise our patients to visit our hygiene specialists once or even twice a year until the periodontal issues have subsided.


If you have had a long gap between seeing our dentist for check-ups, then we may advise you to see our hygiene team to remove accumulated plaque as a precautionary measure against gum disease and tooth decay. Good to know!