top of page
Glenmore Park Dental OPG CBCT

Dental cleaning in Glenmore Park


A ‘scale and clean’ is a procedure that involves removal of tartar, plaque and buildup from the teeth surfaces and underneath the gumline. Plaque and tartar usually builds up on the teeth along the gumline and in between teeth. If not cleaned off professionally it can lead to gum inflammation and gum disease including gingivitis or periodontitis. Plaque can also contribute to tooth decay and cavities or sensitivity.


The procedure for professional cleaning involves using an ultrasonic instrument that removes the buildup on the teeth using high frequency ultrasonic vibrations and water spray that creates micro bubbles to clean off the bacteria. Once the bulk of the buildup of tartar and plaque is removed, a microabrasive paste is used to remove staining from the tooth surface.


High concentration fluoride will be applied to the teeth afterwards to aid in sensitivity relief. You may be required to return for further appointment to clean the teeth if there is a high amount of buildup or staining.


There are usually minimal risks involved.  However depending on the individual and the amount of buildup present, or if there is active gum disease or gum recession, the following risks apply:

  • Sensitivity during the procedure and/or after the procedure has been completed.

  • Bleeding from the gums during the procedure and/or after the procedure has been completed.

  • You may notice the teeth feel ‘sharp’ after cleaning. This usually is because the tongue has been accustomed to the feeling of the plaque or tartar filling the gaps between the teeth.

  • You may notice ‘black triangles’ or gaps between the teeth. This will be more evident if you have gum recession or bone loss.

  • Damage to the tooth structure underneath the buildup. If the tooth enamel has been demineralised or is starting to decay underneath any plaque or tartar buildup, a scale and clean may reveal these areas that were previously ‘hidden’

  • Damage to loose or old fillings

  • You may require more than one visit depending on the amount of buildup and/or presence of gum disease

This treatment is not a standalone treatment and must be combined with either a comprehensive oral examination to first determine the health of the teeth and supporting oral structures, or with a periodic oral examination for your regular 6-12 monthly routine visits.


If you are keeping up with your regular dental checkups, you know that cleaning entails the scaling of teeth for the removal of plaque and tartar, as well as polishing for stain removal and keeping the surface of your teeth smooth. This is performed regularly to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. However, if you have signs and symptoms of gum disease, a special type of cleaning called scaling and root planing may be needed.


What are the risks of a scale and clean?

Regular cleanings are performed for the prevention of gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease. When you already have periodontal disease, we perform a scaling and root planing procedure as a form of deep cleaning. This type of cleaning is considered to be the "gold standard" of chronic periodontitis treatment.

When healthy, gum tissue should fit snugly around each tooth. One way that we measure this is by taking a measurement from the tooth to the top of the gum line, which should be no more than 3 mm deep. However, plaque and tartar can build up both under and around your gums, affecting tissues that provide support to your teeth. This can lead to the development of periodontal disease and deeper pockets.

When you exhibit advanced signs of gum disease like heavy tartar build up, bad breath, or deep pockets, we may advise you that a scaling and root planing procedure will be needed for the treatment of your condition.

Gum disease is a condition that develops due to the presence of plaque, a sticky bacterial film that is continually forming on your teeth. If plaque is not regularly removed, your gums can become inflamed. This causes them to begin pulling away from the teeth, instead of firmly fitting around them. This leads to the development of those pockets that can provide safe harbor for plaque that cannot be cleaned by brushing at home. Gum disease can eventually result in bone and tooth loss.

Scaling and root planing procedures are performed by either a dentist or dental hygienist. It could take multiple appointments for completion, and a local anesthetic is sometimes used to ensure your comfort. It might be helpful to comparing scaling and root planing to the removal of a splinter from your finger. We completely scale all plaque, tartar deposits, and bacterial toxins from each tooth and root surface. It is followed by root planing to smooth areas on the surfaces of the roots. When these surfaces are smooth, bacteria, plaque and tartar have a harder time sticking to the area under the gum line.

Following your deep cleaning, you may experience some pain or discomfort for a couple of days. Your teeth may be sensitive for up to one week. You may also find that your gums are temporarily tender, swollen or bleed.

To guard against infection and control any pain or discomfort that you may be having, we may prescribe some form of medication or mouth rinse. Medication may also be inserted into the pocket that was cleaned.

Why would I need scaling and root planing?

What is gum disease?

What should I expect during a scaling and root planing?

What, if anything, should I do after a deep cleaning?

bottom of page