Dental Scaling

Aug 20, 2012

You may be asking what does “scaling” have to do with a blog about benefit plans. So before we explain what scaling is from a dental perspective we will explain it from your benefit plan coverage point of view. A “unit” of scaling is fifteen minutes long and an average dental checkup will consist of two or three units of scaling. Most dental plans will cover eight to twelve units per calendar year, easily enough for two complete scaling checkups each year.

Scaling is only one part of a regular dental checkup. During your appointment your dentist will do four essential things: dental checkup, scaling, polishing, often followed by a fluoride treatment.

Once the dentist has completed the checkup and finds everything to be within a normal range, the dental hygienist will then begin the scaling procedure. So what exactly is scaling and why do you need it?

When you miss brushing your teeth for a day, you will notice a fuzzy film on your teeth surface which is plaque. Regular brushing can get rid of most of this plaque, but not all of it. Within days, this plaque hardens and is called calculus or “tartar”. Dental calculus cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing – only a dentist’s sharp pointy scaling instruments can remove it.  Calculus greatly increases the odds of dental decay so this is why dentists recommend regular visits every 6 months to remove it.

So if you brush and floss your teeth every day not only will you spend less time in the dental chair but your benefit plan will most likely cover all of your scaling needs.

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