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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 typically involves a polishing paste and a rotating rubber cup (similar to how an electric toothbrush functions) 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 have formed up in your teeth should be left to a trained dentist with professional dental instruments for safe removal. 

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. Repeated visits could also lower the risk of gingivitis, gum disease and dental decay in the future. Another benefit is how it allows dentists to take a closer examination of your teeth for problems not apparent 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 can go a long way in ensuring your dental health is on the right track.


Professional dental scaling and polishing can contribute to a comprehensive oral health routine. These procedures offer a thorough level of cleaning compared to what you can achieve at home, reaching areas often missed in regular brushing. Here’s what you can expect from 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 teeth will be polished. 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, 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, could 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.


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 essential to 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 discolouration of the teeth. 

Additionally, regular visits are recommended because they allow dentists to identify other issues, such as tooth decay,  early so they can be treated quickly instead of leading to more potentially harmful 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 or 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 also be taken for future visits.
Regular dental scaling and polishing appointments are recommended to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It’s an effective way of removing hard-to-reach plaque that brushing alone cannot reach.
Dental scaling and polishing are still recommended even if you brush your teeth regularly. Regular brushing can help remove plaque from your teeth and gums but may not reach areas 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 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 plaque and tartar removal; the tartar could have caused discolouration. However, scaling is not a teeth-whitening procedure. If you want to have whiter teeth, it’s recommended that you 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 sensitive. Brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and continuing flossing daily is recommended.
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, which 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 scale of plaque and tartar buildup. On average, the procedure can take between 30 minutes to an hour.

Maintaining good oral health involves consistent 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 checkups and cleanings at least twice a year, make an appointment with Family Dental Centre today, and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile.


To determine whether you are a good candidate, schedule an appointment with our dentist for an initial consultation. Once your dental health has been assessed, our clinician will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.


Since its inception in 2003, Family Dental Centre (FDC) has grown into a network of dental clinics in Singapore, driven by the mission to provide quality and accessible dental care to the community. As part of the Oracare Group and recognised by both the Singapore Medical Council and the Ministry of Health, our focus is on upholding high standards in dental services, a commitment that has led to our inclusion in Dental Asia and listing on HealthHub, Singapore’s leading health portal.

At FDC, understanding and meeting the individual needs of our patients is at the heart of what we do. Our expansion to 12 conveniently located clinics is a reflection of our commitment to making dental care accessible to all, supported by a team of 32 dental surgeons. Continuous professional development is key, ensuring our team is equipped to provide tailored, high-quality care. In recognition of Singapore’s diverse culture and languages, our staff are conversant in English, Mandarin, and Malay, facilitating clear and effective communication with our wide-ranging clientele.

Choosing Family Dental Centre means opting for a partner committed to your long-term dental health. Learn more about FDC and discover how we can be part of your dental care journey.