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Dental Prophylaxis – A Guide to Complete Dental Cleaning



Dental prophylaxis is not some typical simple dental cleaning. It is a tad more than that. Call it a 360 degree set of procedures that go a long way in your oral care regimen. A thorough dental prophylaxis can go a long way in preventing dental cavities or caries, gum diseases and future tooth loss due to many factors like receding jaw bone, etc.

Dental Examination before Dental Prophylaxis

  • Your dentist would do a thorough examination to ascertain if just cleaning in various degrees are required or something more. They would look for signs of any disease in the teeth and the gum layers.
  • If your dentist suspects for other problems which can be diagnosed only with x-rays, they would recommend you one. With a mouth x-ray, your dentist can tell you the presence of other oral conditions like damaged or receded jaw bone, presence of cysts or tumours, presence of abscesses, presence of tooth decay between the teeth (arising out of non-flossing) and the presence of any impacted teeth (wisdom tooth impaction included).

Procedures in Dental Prophylaxis

  • The dentist first removes all the food debris caught between the teeth and the gum layers.
  • Then the dentist scraps the gum line to remove any plaque and tartar buildup that may be present. Plaques and tartars are hardened bacterial biofilms that can potentially damage the teeth by causing dental cavities. It has be to be borne in mind that the plaque and tartar buildup cannot be removed by us by our usual brushing or flossing techniques. They can be done only at dental office by the dentists using specialized sonic instruments.
  • If there are stains on the teeth, the dentist would also remove the stains.

For all the above three procedures the dentist would use specialized dental instruments like scalers, ultrasonic concentrated air and water streams etc to achieve the desired results.

Dental prophylaxis goes a long way in offering preventive dentistry methods. They prevent periodontitis and other gum related diseases. A proper examination of the oral region in early stages can also help in detecting oral cancers at early stages. That is why a regular dental visit is recommended for best oral care.

Dental prophylaxis also include applying fluoride or dental sealants on the teeth which can form a protective coating thereby preventing the teeth from dental caries. Children’s teeth are more susceptible to dental problems and proper dental prophylaxis can help them have a proper dental growth and care.

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