Dental cleanings should be performed every six months to maintain good oral health and more frequently for those with gum infection. A routine dental cleaning should include minimal scaling and polishing. When plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. People who develop gum disease are at greater risk of developing other medical conditions. When large amounts of plaque and tartar cover the teeth, a more involved and time-consuming cleaning procedure called Therapeutic Scaling is necessary.

Scaling: This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Dental hygienists perform scaling by using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments that allow dental cleanings to be performed with greater comfort and efficiency.