A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for halting the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis. Plaque is a structured resilient yellow-grayish substance that adheres tenaciously to the tooth surfaces including removable and fixed restorations. Periodontal scaling and prophylaxis procedures include the removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the crown and root surface of teeth. As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tarter, which contributes to most dental problems.
Benefits of Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning):
- Tartar removal – both above and below the gum line
- Aesthetics – feel confident and returns the smile to its former glory
- Fresher breath – bad breath is usually caused by a combination of rotting foot particles below the gum line, possible gangrene stemming from gum infection and periodontal problems.
Prophylaxis can either be performed in the course of a regular dental visit, or under general anesthetic if there is a severe periodontal disease suspected or has been diagnosed by the dentist.
Prophylaxis treatment procedure:
- X-ray and examination – to examine bone and gum recession and helps dentist identify areas needing attention
- Supragingival cleaning – the cleaning of the area above the gum line with scaling tools to remove plaque and calculus
- Subgingival cleaning – removes calculus from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line
- Root planing – smoothing of the tooth roots to eliminate any bacteria
- Medication – following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic cream is often placed in gum pockets to promote fast and healthy healing.
In addition, since prophylaxis involves a thorough examination, the dentist may identify other health problems which may include oral cancer, diabetes and kidney problems.
Prophylaxis is recommended twice annually as a preventative measure. Though gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the tools the dentist can use to effectively halt its destructive progress.