A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease.
The benefits include:
Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Prophylaxis can be performed at our dental office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools we can use to effectively halt its progression.
Scaling and Root Planing
Plaque is removed through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing, with the use of local anesthesia to numb the patient of any pain the procedure may cause. The scaling procedure consists of scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Medications can be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planing, but they cannot always take the place of surgery. Depending on the severity of gum disease, we may still suggest surgical treatment. Schedule an appointment, and we will evaluate exactly what type of cleaning procedure is required specifically for you.