Ultrasonic scaling (removal of tartar)
The removal of tartar is one of the dental procedures that are most frequently necessary.
Using an ultrasonic device we remove the tartar found on the crown, above the gumline (supragingival), and on the root of the tooth, below the gumline (subgingival).
Following this, the teeth are polished, which makes their surface smooth.
Why is this needed?
We do this to try to prevent further bacteria and plaque from settling on the surface of the tartar, which constantly irritates the gums, causing bleeding and inflammation.
A gap is produced between the tooth and the gum which cannot be reached with a tooth brush. This gap can be colonized by more bacteria.
Constant inflammation of the gum can lead to periodontal disease, loosening of the teeth and to their eventual loss.
How frequently do we need to have ultrasonic scaling?
This depends on the individual and their life style, but usually 1-2 times a year.
What influences the formation of tartar?
Smoking, oral hygiene and eating habits all play a part.
Smoking and gum inflammation, tartar
Dental plaque is a filmy deposit found on the teeth and fillings, which contains the remains of food, bacteria, epidermal cells and immune cells.
In the absence of suitable oral hygiene the plaque quickly hardens and develops a yellow and rough surface, due to the action of minerals contained in the saliva.
This is tartar, which cannot be removed with simple brushing of the teeth. This is most often seen on the exterior of the upper molars and the interior of the lower front teeth.
However, tartar is present not only above the gum, but also under the parts of the gum that are not visible. The only remedy is to have it removed by a professional.
In addition to the unattractive appearance of teeth covered with tartar, there can also be an unpleasant odour in the mouth.
The first symptom is bleeding gums
The surface of the tartar above the gums is rough, which allows bacteria to settle on it. The long-term presence of the plaque, tartar and bacteria, continuously irritates the gum, eventually causing inflammation.
Inflammation of the gum (gingivitis)
When it is inflamed the gum becomes red and swollen and bleeds. Chronic inflammation of the gum can lead to periodontal disease, destruction of the bones supporting the teeth and, eventually, the teeth become loose and fall out.
The formation of plaque is encouraged by the following:
– crowded teeth, which are difficult to keep clean
– leaking fillings, crowns and bridges
– insufficient saliva
According to research, regular smoking greatly increases the risk of periodontal disease, because it results in more plaque being deposited on the surface of the teeth.
The following reduce the presence of plaque:
– thorough brushing of the teeth at least twice daily, using the correct technique and for a sufficient length of time (for at least 2 minutes)a day
– consuming food that requires a lot of chewing (e.g. raw vegetables)
– low-carbohydrate foods
– a regular dental check-up