Hygiene - scaling, polishing, fluoridization


Complex oral hygiene services, carried out by the dental hygienist. The procedure consists of several stages, described below. 
SCALING – is a preventive and therapeutic procedure, the aim of which is to remove the hard dental calculus from the surface of the teeth. If the surface of the teeth is not cleaned skillfully, then so called dental plaque (consisting out of the food remains, bacteria and saliva ingredients) emerges on the surface of the teeth. After a certain period of time the plaque is mineralized and transformed into the dental calculus. The emerging calculus (also known as tartar) damages the gums, causing them to bleed, get lower - and this leads to exposure of the tooth necks. The calculus also has an impact on the process in which the bones shrink, which ultimately leads to development of a disease known as periodontosis, which unfortunately may result in a premature loss of teeth.
The emerging calculus may be removed solely in a dental surgery, solely with the use of specialized equipment - such as ultrasonic scaler or hand-tools - so called currets. Should a situation arise in which the calculus is being accumulated above the line of the gum, this is the last call for preventive procedures, and ultrasonic scaling - which needs to be carried out at least twice a year by a certified hygienist. Proper scaler-tip, placed on the surface of the covered teeth, emits ultrasounds and micro-vibrations, with a very high frequency, which crushes and removes the dental calculus (tartar).
The procedure is painless, however, persons who are characterized by hypersensitivity to cold may feel a slight discomfort. Should any pain arise, the procedure will be carried out with the use of anesthesia.
Ultrasonic scaling shall not be carried out in case of the patients wearing a heart-pacemaker and in case of women who are pregnant, in their I and III trimester. Should the dentist determine that scaling is needed in such a case, then it shall be carried out with the use of manual tools. Some general diseases, such as diabetes, require the scaling to be carried out with additional protection provided by the antibiotics. Proper and regular scaling prevents bone shrinkage, lowering of the gums and exposure of the tooth necks. Above all, the procedure minimizes the risks related to periodontosis and tooth loss.
Photo on the left - teeth with a lot of calculus; photo on the right - cleaned teeth, after a hygiene-related procedures.
SANDING - is yet another stage of the hygiene-related procedures. The aim of this stage is to remove any discoloration or of the teeth, caused by coffee or the cigarettes. In order to achieve that aim, the dental hygienist uses a special device known as a sandblaster, along with proper chemicals used for sanding (generally referred to as the sand). 
The nature of this procedure is simple - the above-mentioned debris is being removed by a high-pressure water jet, where the water is mixed with the sanding substance. Thanks to that nature, the cleaning agent easily reaches them most unaccessible locations, such as the pits of the teeth or inter-teeth spaces.
During the procedure, a suction end is being applied all the time - it sucks out the excess sand mixed with water. From the point of view of the patient the procedure is not unpleasant. The sensation during the process comes from a water flowing from the sandblasting machine, which hits the teeth. However, a slight discomfort may arise, stemming from the presence of a large quantity of the sanding solution in the oral cavity. The agent has a dominant, salty taste.
It shall also be stressed again - sanding is not painful. This treatment is usually proposed along with scaling - this is a quite clever solutions, if a lot of tooth coat and plaque is present.
Sanding - for whom is it?
Sanding shall be done in case of:
  • smokers,
  • persons drinking a lot of tea or coffee,
  • persons wearing orthodontic braces,
  • persons with orthodontic defects - so called crowded teeth,
  • persons who decided to get their teeth whitened,
  • persons who take medications, which cause the teeth to lose their color
These persons shall decide to carry out the procedure in an interval of a few months.
Regular sanding of the teeth, in order to remove small debris and discoloration, shall be treated as a preventive measure. In this way we are able to prevent the bacteria from developing, it also makes it possible to prevent gum and teeth diseases and to maintain aesthetic appearance of the teeth.

It shall be noted though that some of the discoloration cannot be removed in this way. This applies to permanent discoloration within the scope of the tooth enamel, after e.g. tetracyclines treatment or treatment with the use of iron preparations.
POLISHING - is one of the stages within our complex hygiene program, carried out by the dental hygienist at the dental surgery. The aim of this stage is to clean the teeth from any debris, that cannot be removed with the use of some home-based methods. This procedure lasts for several minutes, it is absolutely painless, or even pleasant. All of the teeth surfaces are being polished with the use of proper polishing pastes and rubbers and properly shaped brushes. The cleaned and smoothened surface of the teeth makes it more difficult for the plaque to be created and accumulated on the teeth.
Patients often claim that their teeth are so smooth that they feel as if their “tongue was sliding around on their surface”. Selection of a proper polishing paste is dependent on the intentions of the hygienist. She may be willing to clean the teeth from the debris, or she may only want to polish them.
Polishing, instead of sanding, is being carried out during the surgical hygienization procedure - which prepares the patient’s oral cavity for the procedures of implantation or other surgical procedures that are being carried out within the oral cavity, in case of which the use of sand may have an irritating effect on the oral cavity.
FLUORIDIZATION - A protective measure against caries. Fluorine has a reinforcing effect on the tooth enamel. This is realized through the bind between the calcium and phosphorus ion - thanks to that bind, fluorine protects the teeth from caries. The fluorine available in the tooth-paste or in the mouthwashes has a very reduced concentration in comparison with the fluorine used in a dental surgery. Thus, it is clearly a better method to protect your teeth from caries via a professional procedure of covering them with fluoride by a dental hygienist. It is the fourth, and also the last element of the dental hygiene bundle.
Professional fluoridization is carried out by placing a fluoride-containing preparation over the surface of the teeth, which had been properly cleaned before.  Fluoride may be applied in a form of a foam, applied with the use of special-purpose, single-use spoons, which are to be kept inside your mouth for about 3 minutes. The foams have several, quite pleasant tastes. You may choose between mint, strawberries, melons or forest fruits. During this 3-minute long procedure, fluorine penetrates the teeth enamel. Another way to realize the procedure is to cover the teeth with a fluoride-based lacquer. This is done with a special-purpose brush.
Covering the teeth with fluoride reinforces the teeth and protects them from any acidic factors that are being created by the caries-related bacteria. The protection lasts for ca. 6 months. In cases when a patient is particularly prone and vulnerable to carries, the procedure may be repeated in 3-month intervals.
Contact Fluoridization - It may be carried out also in case of a single tooth which is particularly sensitized to cold temperatures, due to the exposure of the tooth neck. The fluoride may also be applied directly on the microdecalcificated area, which is visible as a white spot on the dental enamel. It shall be remembered though, that fluoride treatment shall not be applied before and after the teeth are whitened.
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