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. Calculus (also referred to as Tartar) 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 periodontist, a dentist or oral Health therapist 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 most of these unsightly stains. Some stains are actually within your teeth and these cannot be removed by this process.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of bacterial fermentation of food particles and blood products (possibly below the gum line) results in bad breath in about 75% of cases.  The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection if you have this issue. However at least 25% of cases of Halitosis are caused by factors outside the mouth and these will not respond to prophylaxis.

Prophylaxis can be performed at our office or by your general dentist and their Oral Health Therapists. It may be beneficial to have your regular cleanings done by Drs. Hinckfuss, McGregor, Mitchell or Chin who are more familiar with the full scope of your periodontal disease. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventive measure, but should be completed every 3-6 months for periodontitis sufferers.  It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools the periodontist can use to effectively halt its progression.