Scaling and polishing active maintenance

At DP Dental, we recognize that everyone has unique wants and needs. It is, therefore, our highest priority to provide individualized care for every one of our patients.

Our doctors will take a series of digital photographs of the patient’s teeth and bite position. After that, our doctors present the photographs for an interactive discussion of findings and treatment plans with the patient.

These initial photographs will also serve as a baseline record for our patients, allowing both our doctors and patients to track the treatment progress during subsequent visits.

Our doctors may also recommend the patient take a few dental X-rays to help uncover hidden dental structures, bone loss and cavities that cannot be seen during a visual examination.

DENTAL HYGIENE: Scaling & EMS Air-Flow Polishing

The first step of professional cleaning is scaling. At DP Dental, we use an ultrasonic instrument which sprays a cooling mist of water. At the same time, it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a proper temperature. This process removes the hard tartar build-up between your teeth and under the gums.

After that, scaling is followed by polishing; which removes stains usually left by coffee, tea and tobacco. While polishing is traditionally done with a paste and a slow speed rubber cup, at DP Dental we employ a new technology - the Prophy-jet EMS Airflow which sprays out a jet of air, water and fine powder to thoroughly clean the teeth, on the surface and even in the gaps.

FUN FACT: Did you know?

The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis (or prophy for short). It’s a Greek word which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease.

Active Maintenance

During the recommended 3-6 monthly Dental Active Maintenance visits, our doctors and Oral Hygiene Therapist (OHT) will check the patient’s teeth and gums for signs of inflammation, recession and decay and other dental concerns that require further attention.

Why is Preventive Active Maintenance important?

Gum disease, if diagnosed early, can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease may follow. Similarly, our doctors and hygienist are also looking out for early signs of problems with your teeth or gums. 

Early detection of cavities, broken fillings and gum disease are easily treatable. If these problems go untreated, however, root canals, gum surgery and removal of teeth could become the only treatment options available.

The difference between Scaling and Root Planning (Deep Cleaning)

SUMMARY: Scaling and Root Planing is a special type of treatment that goes deeper below the gum line to remove contaminated debris, pus and bacteria.


In a regular cleaning, scaling is performed on the part of the tooth that is exposed above the gum line. A regular cleaning (prophylaxis) involves scaling and polishing procedures that remove plaque, tartar (calculus), and stains from the exposed areas of teeth. The scaling process scrapes away bacterial plaque and tartar from the tooth. 

In a deep cleaning, a combination of scaling and root planing is employed to treat early-stage periodontal (gum) disease.  Root planing smoothes the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. Suppose you have gum disease or gum pocketing. In that case, the gum pockets around the teeth will have deepened, thereby allowing tartar deposits to form under the gumline. 

The clinician would have to get under the gumline and scrape the plaque off so that the gum tissue becomes healthy again and reattaches itself to the tooth structure. Any roughness can be planed away to result in a silky smooth surface so the gum can reattach firmly to the spotlessly clean root surface; helping to prevent tooth loss. 

Although deep cleaning is effective at removing plaque buildup, it does not eliminate all the bacteria that cause gum disease. When necessary, treatment may also include LASER-Assisted Gum Treatment to effectively disinfect the pockets between the gum and the tooth root to remove bacteria.

What are the benefits of Scaling and Root Planing?

  • Control the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Help gums or pocket wall reattach firmly to the spotlessly clean root surface to help prevent tooth loss
  • Prevent further bleeding of the gums
  • Reduces gum swelling and discomfort
  • Decrease tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
  • Prevent bone loss due to gum disease