Curettage or curettement is a surgical procedure which involves using an instrument called a curette or curet, a spoon-shaped tool with a sharp edge, to scrape material from the wall of a cavity. These benign words mask the fact that we are talking of cavities in a living body; curettage is a painful process. It may be performed to remove abnormal or dangerous cells - as in cervical curettage as a treatment for cervical cancer, say - or to remove unwanted cells - as in abortion (see also dilation and curettage). Or it could be a periodontal procedure involving the scraping of bacteria from the mouth, a dental procedure that is, once again, not particularly comfortable.