June 26, 2019

What to Expect During a Scale and Polish

teeth scale and polish tool

In our last post, we gave you tips on how to determine when you need to change your toothbrush, and today, we will explain what is a teeth scale and polish. Many people who have dental anxiety delay booking a dentist appointment because they are afraid of the tools we use in our practice. We believe that knowing what these tools are for, and how they help maintain good oral hygiene will help put your worries at ease. A teeth scale and polish is an essential part of good oral hygiene and should be done regularly to ensure your teeth remain healthy.

Why Do I Need a Teeth Scale and Polish?

Gum disease prevention is often the reason why you will need a scale and polish. Bacteria build up can accumulate and eventually create tartar, which you cannot remove at home by brushing your teeth. At this stage, you will need to book an appointment with your dentist.

How Long Will it Take?

You can expect a scrape and polish to take approximately 20 to 45 min, depending on the severity of the deposits.

What is Involved?

Firstly, your dentist or hygienist will start by ‘scraping”  the deposits, using an ultrasound scraper, before then using hand-held instruments to scrape any remaining tartar.

The next and final stage is the polishing, which will make the surface of your teeth smoother. This stage will remove stains and leave your teeth bright and shinier, while also smoothing the rough patches to prevent further plaque buildup.


You can ask your dentist how often a scale and polish is recommended for you, and you must also follow proper hygiene care at home in between procedures, as the scale and polish is only an addition to your oral hygiene routine, and the bulk of it should be done at home.

If you would like to discuss dental treatment options with one of our experienced Beith dentists, get in touch with us, we would be happy to help.