Dental Scaling

Calgary Dental Scaling Studio

Similar to how Airflow® removes plaque biofilm from your teeth and under your gums, dental scaling removes the calculus from your teeth. Calculus, also known as tartar, is a mixture of plaque biofilm and minerals from your saliva. The stickiness from the biofilm adheres the mixture to your teeth, and the mineral component creates the hardened structure, essentially creating a shelter for the biofilm. Once calculus has formed and matured, regular brushing and flossing at home will not be able to remove it, which is why dental scaling is an important treatment.

Scaling Methods

Teeth scaling can be completed with many different types of instruments, each with its own benefits and purpose. Each instrument generally falls into one of two main categories, ultrasonic scalers and hand scalers.

Ultrasonic Scaling

Most dental scaling treatments begin with the use of an ultrasonic scaler. Ultrasonic scalers use ultrasound and vibrational technology to efficiently remove calculus both above and below the gum line. The vibrational energy dislodges the calculus from the tooth, and the water emitted from the tip of the scaler flushes out the pieces of calculus from underneath the gums. The ultrasonic technology also causes the water to form tiny bubbles which can effectively disrupt plaque biofilm, as well as create a hostile, oxygenated environment that harmful anaerobic bacteria find uninhabitable. Grinn Dental Hygiene uses two types of ultrasonic scalers in the studio:

Cavitron® – Utilizes very specialized tips for specific areas/tooth morphologies.

Piezon® - Has the ability to automatically detect the presence of calculus and adjusts the power being used accordingly. The Piezon® also has a temperature control feature that allows the dental hygienist to heat the water being sprayed from the tip, helping to reduce temperature sensitive teeth.

Hand scaling

Hand scaling is often completed after the ultrasonic scaler to fine-tune and ensure all the calculus is removed. The goal of scaling is to leave the tooth surface as smooth as possible and hand scaling allows dental hygienists to use tactile sensitivity to detect any small pieces of calculus left behind. There are many different types of hand scalers, each having their own purpose and advantage. This type of teeth scaling does not require any water to be used simultaneously, and you may feel more pressure against the teeth when your hygienist is scaling with them.


Frequently Asked Questions

The frequency of dental scaling treatments recommended by your dental hygienist is based on how fast your calculus builds up and how your gum tissues respond to the presence of it. Typical recommended frequencies are every 3, 4, 6, 9, or 12 months, and it is best to discuss these frequencies with your dental hygienist.
For many people, teeth scaling is a comfortable treatment. We recognize that everyone has a slightly different experience, and we do our best to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Comfort levels can depend on several factors, including the presence of cavities or periodontal disease and levels of sensitivity, however these can be managed with topical or local anesthetic.

Like Calgary dentists, we follow the Alberta Dental Fee Guide – most insurance companies consider this a reimbursable fee at your pre-determined number of units per benefit year.

Absolutely! Undergoing orthodontic treatment makes homecare significantly more challenging for you, and teeth scaling around your brackets is very beneficial for your health and the outcome of your orthodontic treatment. It is often recommended to come in even more frequently for scaling while you have braces on!

Yes! Tooth implants may need to be scaled if calculus is present, and your dental hygienist will use specific instruments that are safe to use around tooth implants.

If you have a pacemaker, please discuss the details with your hygienist. However, most of the new pacemakers are shielded which makes power scaling treatments safe.