Tooth Polishing

by on March 30, 2012

Tooth polishing is the smoothening of all exposed tooth surfaces with a rubber cup, a brush or by an air polisher driven by a slow speed hand piece or water unit. It is frequently the final stage of dental cleaning and scaling, along with certain other processes. This method removes stains, smoothens and polishes the surface of the tooth. As a result of these procedures, the teeth are smooth clean at the end of the treatment. Dental polishing was considered important for the removal of plague and stain prior to a fluoride treatment to ensure that the fluoride is adequately taken into the enamel.

As a final touch, the dental hygienist polishes the patient’s teeth after the routine cleaning, scaling and planning procedure. Dentists may polish any additional restoration installed, such as a crown or composite. The dentist utilizes either a prophy jet polisher or a rubber cup polisher. Polishing paste is contained in this cup, which is positioned against the surface of the tooth on a rotating hand piece. The prophy jet uses baking soda and a jet of water. It acts as a power washer to smooth and polish teeth.

Although polishing is not unusual and can help some cases, it isn’t required with customary cleaning. Polishing takes out fluoride- rich outer layers of the enamel to avoid occurrence of tooth decay. Structures that do not have stains do not need polishing. The teeth’s coronal surfaces is polished using rubber cups, abrasive, brushes, dental tape, and Porte polishers. This dental prophylaxis procedure removes supragingival deposits. The polishing paste used by pro dentists has smaller particles sizes than the composite area.

Dental polishing, or commonly called coronal polishing, is performed when scaling has removed the hardened tartar buildup. The patient is assessed by the dentist and hygienist to determine where coronal polishing is necessary. If it is deemed necessary, a coronal polishing will remove any stain build up not removed by the scaling procedure. The duration of a polishing appointment can vary, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar build up. Commonly, prophylaxis is scheduled for 45 minutes of the hygienist’s time and 10 minutes of the dentist’s time.

When an unpolished surface is magnified thousands of times, it usually looks like mountains and valleys. Through the process involving repeated abrasions, those ‘mountains’ are worn down until they become flat. The process of polishing with abrasives starts with coarse ones and graduates to fine ones.

Tags: ,