Polishing is often the last step of a dental cleaning, scaling, and some restorative procedures. It smoothes and polishes the tooth or restoration surface and removes some stains.

What is polishing?

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.

Tell me about the polishing procedure?

Dr. Bynum 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, Dr. Bynum may polish it as well. Dr. Bynum uses 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 Dr. Bynum when and why he recommends polishing teeth.