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Before acknowledging the importance of a scaling to our oral hygiene, we need to understand the structure and functioning of the periodontium (perio = around, odontos = tooth).

The periodontium consists of the tissues which surround and support the teeth. Their function is to attach the tooth to the surrounding alveolar bone and provide a support to the tooth during function. The periodontium can be divided into the gingivae and periodontal ligament.

In the absence of adequate oral hygiene, periodontal diseases develop, such as gingivitis, periodontitis. Their causes are the accumulation of dental plaque and calculus which are influenced by the following factors:

  • Local factors which contribute to the development of periodontal diseases, e.g., irritating dental restorations, crowded dentition, high fraenal attachment and prostheses.

  • Systemic factors which influence the host response to plaque accumulation include pregnancy, puberty, diabetes mellitus, Down Syndrome or human immunodeficiency virus.
  • Cigarette smoking is a significant risk factor for both periodontitis and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.
  • Periodontal diseases can lead to tooth mobility and to complex cases requiring periodontal surgery if left untreated.
  • The removal of both sub-and supragingival deposits, calculus, dental plaque and infected cementum are essential elements of hygiene phase therapy, a process known as scaling or root planning. This is an important preventive measure to eradicate the etiological factors and crucial to the success of periodontal surgery.

Following examination and diagnosis, periodontal therapy is usually carried out as follows at Best Dental Co Ltd:

  • A careful probing of all tooth surfaces is done to detect bleeding pockets which is the only currently reliable indicator of active periodontitis.
  • A scaling is performed using ultrasonic scalers and completed with a stainless steel hand scalers to remove interdental stains.
  • After the complete removal of deposits from the tooth root, the teeth is polished using a fluoride-containing paste to provide well-polished, smooth tooth surfaces which will retain plaque less than rough surfaces.
  • A dental health education and instruction in plaque control is provided by our dental surgeon and dental assistants. These include information leaflets, advice tailored to the patients’ needs: toothbrushing techniques, flossing, uses of interproximal brushes, use of chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash.
  • A long-term follow-up is necessary after the scaling for a further periodontal assessment including plaque and calculus reformation, pocket depth, and giginvitis. This will indicate the success of the therapy and highlight specific areas or problems requiring further treatment (preventive or corrective measures).

Scaling, known as hygiene phase therapy, is of paramount importance for the successful prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Of the same degree of importance is the ability of patients to maintain an adequate standard of plaque control. It is recommended to visit the dental surgeon every six months for a scaling and for patients suffering from systemic diseases, a visit every three to four months is highly solicited.

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