Why do Dentists ‘Scale and Polish’ Your Teeth?

A commonly used procedure to prevent serious oral health problems.

It is likely that most of us reading this blog will have heard a dentist suggest ‘a little scale and polish’. Only occasionally though might the dentist also explain why they are doing this, especially as it is usually a relatively minor procedure.

Because it is a non invasive treatment which rarely warrants a local anaesthetic, it is likely that we think that this is being done purely for aesthetic purposes. Although it can have this effect to some degree, the fact is that it plays a very important role in keeping gum disease at bay.

Gum disease prevention

Prevention is certainly better than the cure and, at Beau Monde Dental Care, we do all that we can to offer appropriate advice to our Bristol dental patients to help them prevent the onset of gum disease.

Unfortunately, gum disease is prevalent in this country and is currently the leading cause of tooth loss. It can often occur in places, such as behind the back of the rear teeth, where it can be difficult to keep clean.

To help with your own oral care regimen, a professional scale and polish performed by one of our Bristol dentists or hygienists, will remove any hardened bacteria that has build up in the form of plaque.


Although some patients don’t enjoy having a scale and polish, it is essential that, when needed, it is performed. Failure to deal with gum disease in its relatively early stages will result in the need for more invasive treatment later, and may even result in the loss of some teeth.

Whilst some find the scale and polish a little uncomfortable, a more invasive version of this is needed when gum disease becomes advanced (periodontitis).

This deep scale and polish involves a similar procedure to the standard one but goes deep to the root of the teeth. This procedure is always performed using a local anaesthetic as it can be quite uncomfortable; another good reason to try to prevent this sort of treatment in the first place.

Check ups

Of course, to avoid gum disease, regular brushing and flossing is important. Regular check ups at Beau Monde Dental Care too, help to play a role and enable us to monitor your mouth for any early signs of gum disease and treat it if found.

To help to protect your teeth and gums from the problems of gum disease, please call our Bristol dental practice to arrange a check up on 0117 330 3495.