The Stethoscope

A great smile just for you!

Yes, I was late getting to Summit Dental Clinic in Garki, but it was okay. I had booked for a scaling and polishing at 12 noon, but I was operating in the morning and the time just went. The operation was a nerve root decompression (taking pressure off a nerve to relief leg pain). As simple an operation but made difficult by the size of the patient. A huge man with thick layer of fat and even thicker layer of muscle covering the bones. Regardless, we eventually got there and decompressed the nerve.

I was late getting to Summit Dental Clinic, but it was okay. I went for scaling and polishing of my teeth. This is a dental procedure for the removal of plaque and tartar deposits built up on the teeth and the polishing of the smooth surfaces of the teeth. This procedure is conducted as a routine cleaning (prophylaxis) when you visit the dentist. I got there two hours late, but the staff were very courteous and accommodating. They understood the nature of my work and so created time a little later for the procedure.

Legend: Before scaling and polishing

A good thing that I had not eaten before going there as I would not want them to find different food particles in my mouth during the procedure. The scaling is done without anesthetic and is ideally a painless procedure. It entails using some sharp instruments to remove the plaques at the base of the teeth. After scaling is completed, they then carry out polishing of the teeth to remove external stains and smooth out their surfaces. This can do this either by using a rotating brush with cleaning paste or an air-powder spray for tougher stains on the teeth. This is the polishing.

Frequent scaling and polishing are essential to sustain a set of healthy gums and teeth and makes it effortless for you to clean your teeth at home. You can see and feel the contrast in your teeth after a thorough and deep cleaning process. An early sign of gum disease is bleeding gums when you are brushing your teeth. Plaque and tartar build up between the teeth and the gums can lead to gum disease and weakening of the teeth.

Visiting your hygienist once every three months for a scale and polish will remove surface stains and ensure that your gums are healthy. Including this in your dental routine will produce cleaner teeth that look whiter, as well as healthier gums to support them.

It will also ensure a great smile!

Legend: After scaling and polishing

There are real advantages to getting a scaling and polish done. Regular scaling procedure avoids future build-up of bacteria filled plaque under the gum line, which helps in averting dental complications. However, scaling needs to be done by a specialist and a dental practitioner or dental hygienist with the requisite skill. As with everything in life there can be a downside if it is not done properly.

Inadequate scaling can expose the roots after the gums begin to shrink, resulting in bleeding of the gums. It can also raise the teeth’s sensitivity to cold and hot food making it difficult to eat or drink. Imagine not being able to have pepper-soup! Or ice-cream for that matter.

Like everything else, it is best to go to a reputable dentist and ensure you visit them regularly for the best dental hygiene. Once the scaling is done, one must be prepared to maintain the cleanliness and avoid food that stain the teeth, like coffee!

Regular cleaning with a good toothbrush is important. Flossing is also recommended by dentists as this helps to remove food particles stuck between the teeth. These food particles are what leads to plaques and tartar in the first place. Flossing contributes to good dental hygiene because it lifts and removes plaque and food in between your teeth. Brushing also removes plaque and food debris, but the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach deep in between teeth to remove it all. Therefore, flossing helps keep your mouth as clean as possible.

You should add this to your daily dental hygiene.

Anyway, the scaling and polishing was over within 10 minutes and I was on my way back to the hospital to review my patient after he had woken up from the anesthesia. It was great to see him smiling but my smile was brighter.

After all, my teeth were cleaner though still yellow!

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