Is There a Difference Between Cleaning and Scaling?
Cleaning and scaling are two terms that can be confusing, but they have to do with different levels of teeth cleaning performed by a dental professional. A general cleaning can also be called a prophylaxis. This is typically part of your regular, preventive dental care. General cleaning helps keep the teeth and gums clean by removing plaque and stains. Dentists generally recommend getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, even though this might vary slightly with individual patients. Most of the time, a general cleaning of the teeth can be accomplished in one visit.
How is scaling different?
Cleaning and Scaling are both terms used to refer to cleaning, but scaling is a deeper cleaning of the teeth and gums. Instead of a general light cleaning, scaling and root planing is considered therapeutic. Where general cleaning is used to prevent gum disease, scaling is used to treat it. It is the primary treatment option for patients who suffer which chronic gum disease, or periodontitis. When there is a large accumulation of tartar and bacterial plaque around or under the gum line, a dentist will usually suggest root planing or scaling to remove it.
Unlike general cleaning , scaling might take more than a single appointment and some patients need an anesthetic to help reduce discomfort. It is still considered a simple, non-surgical procedure and it has been proven to be very effective in treating and even stopping gum disease.