Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
Teeth Cleaning (Prophylaxis)
Teeth cleaning is also called dental prophylaxis and is a preventative treatment intended to lessen the chances of gum disease developing and serve as a partial treatment for disease that is already underway. The purpose of the teeth cleaning procedure is to remove mineralized plaque called tartar. This substance can develop even in people who are careful with brushing and flossing and is particularly likely in difficult to reach areas.
Routine cleanings are important for preventing disease and go hand in hand with good oral hygiene home care practices.
A typical dental cleaning lasts from 30 minutes to one hour and is recommend for every six months in most patients. Individual dental situations can mean that more frequent cleanings are necessary, and the dentist can explain the reasons for this based on the health of your teeth and gums.
Periodontal or gum disease can be prevented by careful dental cleanings and good home care. Periodontal disease is the top cause of adult tooth loss in America and impacts as many as 75 percent of people at some time in their lives. Most adults have some gum disease, and it progresses slowly until it is stopped.
Regular cleanings also prevent cavities and other forms of tooth decay by removing plaque and tartar above and below the gum line and the bacteria that is associated with it.
Among the many benefits of dental cleanings are:
- Removal of plaque and the tartar it forms from all visible tooth surfaces.
- Removal of dead cells, plaque and tartar below the gum line.
- Evaluation of overall oral hygiene situation.
- Establishment of home care recommendations.
- Providing of an opportunity for brushing and flossing instruction.
- Charting of gum condition.
- Determining if periodontal disease care is needed.
If aside from the teeth cleaning, periodontal disease care is necessary, it can be accomplished in several ways, depending on the condition of the teeth and mouth. These include the following gum treatments:
- Professional in-office teeth cleaning. As mentioned above, this is the first line of defense against gum disease and should be done by a dentist or hygienist every six months or as recommended.
- Deep cleaning. Also called scaling or root planing, this treatment helps to eradicate gum infections when present. The process involves the removal of plaque and tartar deep below the gum line and the treatment of any infection found.
- Laser gum treatment. An alternative to gum surgery, laser gum surgery involves tiny fibers placed in the pockets between teeth and gums to treat infection and the bacteria that is associated with gum destruction and tooth loss.
- Gum disease surgery. This involves several different kinds of procedures, as appropriate, when disease is already present.
Additionally, a teeth cleaning at a holistic dental practice can make a big difference in overall dental health because there is an education aspect involved and focus on prevention of future problems. This includes education about oral health as well as nutrition, nutraceuticals and more. Holistic dental practices also have therapies available that traditional dentists don’t use.
Why not contact our San Diego dental practice for a teeth cleaning today?
For a free dental hygiene consultation, call (619) 640-5100 to schedule and appointment with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS