Scaling & Polishing

woman talk to dentist in dental clinic

Teeth Scaling and Polishing in Singapore

Regular dental visits at least twice a year entails you to:

  • Have an evaluation of your oral cavity, and
  • Get your teeth cleaned through scaling and polishing.

The dentist can also help assess your oral health and remove any evidence of plaque or tartar. You will receive advice on how to look after your oral health at the end of the session.

What is Scaling and Polishing?

Understanding scaling and polishing procedures can help demystify what happens during a routine dental visit and highlight their importance for oral health.


Scaling is a process aimed at maintaining your oral hygiene. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar, particularly from areas where regular brushing may miss. During the dental cleaning process, the dentist may use specific tools, such as manual scalers and ultrasonic instruments, to help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and gums. A water spray is often used to wash away debris thereafter.


Following scaling, polishing is performed to smooth the surfaces of your teeth. This part of the procedure helps to remove stains from your teeth, contributing to a cleaner and brighter appearance. Consequently, by smoothing and cleaning the tooth surface, polishing helps to improve your smile’s aesthetic appeal and oral hygiene.

During these procedures, scaling and polishing are typically performed with a focus on patient comfort and efficacy. The dental team at your chosen dental clinic will help ensure you remain comfortable during the procedure.

Why Regular Teeth Cleaning is Necessary

Maintaining oral health is not just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for overall well-being. Regular teeth cleaning, including scaling and polishing, is crucial in this regard.

Plaque, for instance, is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If they are not removed, they may harden into tartar, which can be more challenging to clean and may lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

While regular brushing and flossing at home are necessary, they may not always help to remove all the plaque, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Professional dental cleaning can help ensure these hidden spots are taken care of.

Signs You Need Professional Cleaning

Aside from removing plaque and regular daily cleaning, it’s essential to recognise when you might need professional teeth cleaning. You may want to look out for these signs:

  • Visible Tartar Build-Up: This often appears as a yellow or brown deposit between the teeth or at the gum line.
  • Bleeding Gums: Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing may indicate gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
  • Persistent Bad Breath: Also known as halitosis, this can result from poor oral hygiene and the build-up of bacteria in the oral cavity.
  • Gum Recession: This occurs when the gum pulls away from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth or its root.
  • Swollen or Red Gums: This may indicate gum inflammation, often caused by plaque accumulation.
  • Sensitive Teeth: This may be a sign of receding gums or enamel wear, which can be addressed with professional dental care.
  • Stained Teeth: Surface stains from food and drink can be managed with polishing.
  • Loose Teeth or Change in Bite: These may indicate advanced gum disease.
  • Time Since Last Visit: If it has been six months or more since your last dental check-up, it is time to consider scheduling another.

Oral Cancer Screening – Early Detection

Oral cancer is often associated with multiple risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, poor diet, etc. Most oral cancers, even at their early stages, can be detected at a routine dental check-up.

During a general examination of the oral cavity, the dentist will evaluate the cavity for any abnormal growths in the mouth that could point to malignancy as a part of an oral cancer screening.

Price of Scaling and Polishing in Singapore

When considering dental scaling and polishing, it is important to understand the associated costs, as they vary depending on several factors, including the procedure’s complexity and the patient’s specific needs.

Alternatively, you can explore various avenues to make dental care more affordable. For instance, subsidies and insurance claims can help. There are various subsidies, including the CHAS Dental Subsidy and Medisave, that can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for dental care.

For patients with dental insurance, the medical team at your chosen dental clinic can assist in understanding and making the claims. They can also provide support in navigating the claims process, ensuring you maximise your benefits.

Learn About Dental Cleaning in Singapore

Looking to clean your teeth with scaling and polishing? You may seek advice from a dental clinic in Jurong to learn more about the procedure

Frequently Asked Questions on Scaling and Polishing in Dental Health

To help maintain optimal oral health, regular dental scaling and polishing is recommended every six months, but this can vary based on individual oral health conditions. During each visit, the dentist will evaluate your specific needs and may advise more or less frequent scaling and polishing sessions. This approach may help to manage tartar build-up and maintain gum health.
Teeth scaling and polishing are indeed feasible and beneficial for patients with sensitive teeth. Your dentist may employ techniques and products designed for sensitive teeth to maximise comfort during the procedure. At the same time, the approach considers varying degrees of sensitivity among patients.
It is not uncommon for some patients to experience temporary sensitivity in their teeth and gums after scaling and polishing procedures. This sensitivity is typically mild and diminishes quickly. The dental team can help recommend specific oral hygiene practices and products to help manage any discomfort following the treatment.
Most patients report minimal pain during their dental cleaning sessions due to the use of patient-friendly techniques for an optimum experience. If you have any concerns or a low threshold for discomfort, please communicate with the team so that they can take additional steps to optimise your comfort and help provide a positive dental experience.

Scaling is not only possible but also recommended for patients with dental braces. Dental professionals can help clean around the braces, removing plaque and tartar without harming the orthodontic appliances. Regular scaling is also essential for those with braces, as it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can be more challenging to manage with orthodontic treatments in place.

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