Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
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.
Following therapy, regular cleanings are vital to maintaining periodontal health.
Maintenance, along with good oral hygiene are the keys to good oral health. Studies have shown people who do not maintain regularly have 20 times the amount of bone loss as those who do.
For cases where there are some residual pockets deeper than 3mm or where the patient has shown a high susceptibility to breakdown, three month (or more frequent) recalls are critical. In these cases where the patient cannot reach all areas with oral hygiene techniques, bacteria form colonies (plaque) immediately after treatment.
Normally, however it takes plaque about three months to develop into an aggressive infection. The first three months there is minimal one loss, but after ninety days the breakdown dramatically increases. If the plaque is removed every three months, the plaque aggressiveness will stay low.
At the periodontal maintenance appointment the following procedures are performed;
- Update of medical and dental history
- Soft tissue cancer exam
- Clinical decay examination
- Clincial periodontal examination
- Review of oral hygiene as needed
- Scaling above the gum level
- Root planing under gum level as needed
- Administration of fluoride as needed
- Doctor check
- Confirmation of recall frequency and scheduling of next appointment (Full mouth radiographs, which show the entire root surface, are taken every 3 years to determine if the bone level is stable).
An important observation at periodontal maintenance appointment is whether the tissues bleed when probed. If there is not bleeding, the mouth is healthy. If there is bleeding and it is seen on several subsequent recalls, additional treatment in that area is warranted. A change of the bone level as seen on x-rays also requires attention.