A dentist will regularly undertake scaling and polishing of your teeth. Scaling is the process of removing hardened plaque deposits (tartar or calculus) from around the teeth and gums. A polishing paste is then used to remove any residual external stains. In some situations the calculus is deep under the gum surface and requires more extensive root cleaning, which may be done with local anaesthetic to ensure the procedure is comfortable.
It is important to removed the calculus. If it is not removed the gum tissue and bone that holds your tooth in the jaw bone can become unhealthy. In time this can lead to loose teeth that require removing. Occasionally, the calculus is very deep under the gum and requires a specialist referral to a Periodontist.
Caring for your teeth well at home with regular brushing and flossing or inter-dental cleaning is an important aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene.