Dental prophylaxis is also known simply as teeth cleaning, and is used as a preventative treatment to reduce the chances of a patient developing gum disease. It is also used on patients who already have gum disease in order to mitigate the symptoms and slow down the development of bacteria. Teeth cleaning works to remove the plaque that has hardened and crystallised into tartar, a substance that even people who work hard on their oral hygiene can develop.
Preventing disease is the primary reason that your dentist will recommend a teeth clean, and having them routinely will allow your teeth to stay healthy. In most cases, the clean will last from thirty minutes up to one hour, and is best done every six months so that not too much tartar builds up. For some patients, having it more frequently may be a good decision, and your dentist will decide that depending on your individual circumstances.
One of the best defences against gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a regular dental clean and excellent oral hygiene when at home. It is very important to do this, as gum disease is the most frequent reason that adults lose their teeth permanently. Almost all adults will have some form of gum disease, and it will continue to progress unless it is treated. A regular teeth clean will also prevent tooth decay and therefore cavities.
Other benefits of teeth cleaning include:
- Removing all tartar and plaque from your teeth
- Removing dead cells and plaque from below the gum line
- Assessing overall dental health
- Receiving instructions on how to brush and floss effectively
- Understanding excellent home oral hygiene
- Examining the condition of your gums
- Assessing whether gum disease is present
If during your teeth clean it is determined that there is gum disease present, there are four different options that can be explored with regards to treating it:
- Professional in-office teeth cleaning. This is the standard treatment that is explained above, and will be carried out by a dentist or a hygienist
- Deep cleaning. More intense that the traditional dental clean, this is also referred to as planing or scaling, and consists of removing bacteria and plaque from the actual gum and gum line
- Laser gum treatment. An alternative to invasive surgery, this treatment consists of tiny fibers being placed in the pockets and diseased parts of your gums so that the infection and the bacteria can be dealt with at the same time
- Gum disease surgery. There are a variety of different procedures available, and your dentist will decide whether or not surgery is necessary after a deep clean, to see what is left. Your dentist will also work with you to educate you about proper oral hygiene, so that the gum disease does not progress
Talk to Dr. Woods at (619) 640-5100 today about how a good dental clean could improve your teeth and oral hygiene.