Close this search box.
Close this search box.


Dental scaling is a routine, common dental procedure frequently done at dental clinics such as Family Dental Centre to remove the build-up of hardened, stubborn tartar and plaque build-up (known as calculus) from below the gum line. Doing so often is vital as calculus can easily lead to damaged teeth and gum diseases. 

Often, dental scaling may cause the teeth to become rough, and polishing will be needed to smooth them out. The polishing of patients’ teeth is typically done with a polishing paste and a rotating rubber cup (this is similar to how an electric toothbrush is used) to improve the appearance of your teeth and remove bacteria.


Contrary to what many people believe, plaque and tartar can build up in our teeth even when we brush and floss regularly. Harmful bacteria which can cause tooth decay and gum inflammation thrive when dental plaque and calculus that accumulate around the gums are not removed. As such, our experienced dental team recommends that you visit the dentist once or twice annually for dental scaling and polishing. It is not advisable to attempt to do so on your own as plaque and tartar that has formed up in your teeth is best removed by trained dentists with professional dental instruments. 

Frequent dental scaling and polishing have the positive effects of boosting your oral health, cleaning surface stains from coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco use. Going forward, it also lowers the risk of gingivitis, gum disease and dental decay in the future. Another added benefit is how it allows dentists to take a closer examination of your teeth for problems not obvious to the naked or untrained eye like leaky fillings or cracks that may require dental attention. When done regularly, dental scaling and polishing are gentle and non-invasive procedures that will only require a short amount of time from your day, but go the longest way in ensuring your dental health is on the right track.


Professional dental scaling and polishing are critical steps in a comprehensive oral health routine. These procedures offer a level of clean that goes beyond what you can achieve at home, reaching areas often missed in regular brushing. Here’s what you can expect in these procedures:

  • Dental scaling: The dentist uses an ultrasonic scaler to break down stubborn plaque and tartar on your teeth and beneath your gums. The device uses high-frequency vibrations to disrupt the buildup. The ultrasonic scaler has a tiny tip that vibrates rapidly to dislodge the hard deposits of plaque and tartar from the teeth. During this process, a steady stream of water is used to wash away the debris and maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Dental polishing: After scaling, your dentist will proceed to polish your teeth. A dental tool with a rubber cup is used to apply a mildly abrasive prophylactic paste.This paste removes any remaining surface stains and smoothens any rough patches that may have occurred during scaling.
  • Pain management: Both scaling and polishing are typically painless. However, if necessary, the dentist may apply a topical anaesthetic to ensure comfort.
  • Post-treatment: After the procedures, you’ll leave the dental office with a cleaner, brighter, and healthier smile, reducing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.


Dental scaling and polishing are vital dental procedures that aid in maintaining oral health by removing plaque and tartar buildup, which if left untreated, can lead to gum disease.

At Family Dental Centre (FDC), we offer the Basic Scaling and Polishing (SAP) treatment from $90, excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST). It’s recommended to have a dental scaling and polishing procedure performed every six months to ensure optimal oral health. As part of our mission to deliver affordable, high-quality dental care, we offer dental subsidies for eligible CHAS cardholders for this service under the respective schemes.


A simple dental scaling and polishing service done by our dentists at Family Dental Centre will effectively remove plaque, calculus and stain in no time to bring back the bright and fresh smile onto your face. Book an appointment with us today to see how we can assist you in safeguarding your dental health.


When it comes to dental scaling and polishing, the recommendation is to have this service performed by a trained dentist at least once every six months. Dental scaling is an essential part of oral hygiene as it removes plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth which can lead to cavities, gum disease and other infections. Polishing helps remove any remaining surface stains that may have been left behind from food or drink consumption while also helping to prevent further discoloration of the teeth. 

Additionally, regular visits are important because they allow dentists the opportunity to identify other issues such as tooth decay early so they can be treated quickly instead of leading up to larger problems down the road. As such, dental scaling and polishing should be done at least twice annually or whenever you visit your dentist regularly.

During a dental scaling procedure, a special instrument known as an ultrasonic scaler is used to break apart plaque and tartar with high-frequency vibrations. Depending on the amount of buildup present, this procedure may cause minor discomfort using dedicated tools while doing so or through the use of topical anaesthesia if needed; however, this process generally does not create any pain or tenderness whatsoever. Your dentist will also ask questions about any sensitivity you experience during treatment so that proper care can be taken for future visits as well.

No. In fact, regular dental scaling and polishing appointments are required in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It’s an effective way of removing hard-to-reach plaque that brushing alone cannot reach.

Yes, dental scaling and polishing are still recommended even if you brush your teeth regularly. Regular brushing can help to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, but it cannot reach areas that are below the gum line or between two or more teeth. That’s where professional dental scaling and polishing come in, both of which are necessary in order to keep your mouth clean and free from potential diseases.

Dental scaling is a specific kind of dental cleaning. It involves removing plaque and tartar buildup, particularly below the gum line and around the roots of the teeth where regular brushing and flossing can’t reach. In contrast, a regular dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, mainly focuses on the surfaces of the teeth and the line just above the gums. This type of cleaning helps remove plaque, tartar, and minor stains that are present on the tooth’s surface.

The effects of dental scaling can last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on individual oral hygiene habits, diet, and genetic predisposition. Dentists usually recommend having scaling done at least once or twice a year to maintain optimal oral health.

Teeth may appear slightly whiter after dental scaling due to the removal of plaque and tartar that can cause discoloration. However, scaling is not a teeth whitening procedure. If you want to have whiter teeth, it’s recommended to undergo a professional teeth whitening treatment.

Yes, you can and should continue brushing your teeth after scaling. However, you might want to wait a few hours after the procedure as your gums may be a bit sensitive. It’s recommended to brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and to continue flossing daily.

After dental scaling, it’s best to avoid eating hot or spicy foods and consuming alcohol or tobacco products for at least 24 hours. These can irritate the gums. Also, avoid vigorous physical activities for the rest of the day as these can lead to minor gum bleeding. It’s best to stick to soft foods and drink plenty of water.

The length of a scaling and polishing procedure can vary depending on the amount of plaque and tartar build-up. On average, the procedure can take between 30 minutes to an hour.

Maintaining your oral health involves a consistent routine of oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Additionally, consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. 

Schedule regular check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year, appointment with Family Dental Centre today and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile.

Am I a Good Candidate?

To find out whether you are a good candidate, schedule an appointment with our dentist for an initial consultation. Once the assessment of your dental health is done, our clinician will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.


Established in 2003, Family Dental Centre (FDC) is a leading chain of dental clinics in Singapore with the core mission of delivering quality and affordable dental care across the entire community. Aside from being a valued member of the Oracare Group, we are also recognised by the Singapore Medical Council and the Ministry of Health for our commitment to delivering quality dental services. This commitment has also earned us a feature in Dental Asia. We also take immense pride in being listed on HealthHub, Singapore’s leading health portal, further cementing our dedication to community-focused healthcare.  

Our team at Family Dental Centre continuously pursues excellent customer experience, taking the time to understand the unique needs of our patients. Our expansion to 12 strategically located outlets is a testament to our commitment to accessibility, complemented by a dedicated team of 32 elite dental surgeons. Each medical staff member undergoes consistent, rigorous training to meet your unique dental needs with personalised, top-tier care. Acknowledging Singapore’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity, our team is proficient in multiple languages, including English, Mandarin, and Malay, ensuring a more seamless and understanding healthcare experience for our diverse clientele.

With Family Dental Centre, you’re not just accessing  a dental service; you’re choosing a healthcare partner dedicated to lifelong excellence in your dental well-being. Learn more about FDC and discover why we are the right choice for your dental care needs.