Polishing is often the last step of a dental cleaning, scaling (deep root cleaning), and some restorative procedures, like when a new crown is placed. It smoothes and polishes the tooth or restoration surface and removes some stains.
What is the polishing procedure?
Our dentist or a hygienist will polish your teeth as the last finishing touch to regular cleanings and deep root cleanings (called scaling and planing). When a new restoration like a crown or composite filling has been placed in your mouth, we may polish it as well. We will use either a prophy jet polisher or a rubber cup polisher. The rubber cup holds a small amount of polishing paste which is held against the tooth surface on a spinning handpiece. Think of this as a gentle power sand and buff for your teeth. The prophy jet is more like a power washer, as it uses a jet of water and baking soda to smooth and polish teeth. Both methods are effective for removing some stains, and leaving teeth looking smooth and polished.
Should I have my teeth polished?
While polishing is common, and helpful in certain circumstances, it is not a mandatory part of a standard cleaning. Ask us when and why we recommend polishing teeth.