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My question is what is "scaling" or "scailing" my dentist seems to recommend this once a year. My concern is the dentist is doing this expensive procedure simply for the monetary benefits as he seems to also want to take a few X rays to make sure I have no caveties. (the X rays on file were only a year old.)

Scaling is also often known as a 'deep cleaning', and consists of cleaning roots of teeth and pockets of gums around teeth. Scaling is often completed to treat various stages of periodontal disease or gingivitis and is sometimes the only way to properly clean teeth. When these pockets of gums get too large, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to clean them at home, so additional work is necessary at the dental office, and sometimes more frequent visits. Please rest assured that scalings are a VERY common dental procedure. As a dentist, I find it necessary to provide such treatment on an almost daily basis! Also, it is common practice to take xrays to look for cavities once per year. Cavities can begin to form in only one month's time, let alone a year!


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Last revised: December 06, 2004.