All you Need to Know about Dental Prophylaxis

Updated on January 4, 2021

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning method performed at a dentist’s office to remove plaque build-up, which regular flossing and brushing cannot reach. No matter how diligently kids practice oral care at home, professional cleaning from an expert such as Lexington pediatric dentistry is a must to prevent decay and progression of gum diseases. The frequency and type of prophylaxis suggested rest on the patient’s risk-assessment for periodontal diseases and caries. The assessment may comprise, 

  • Oral hygiene 
  • Presence of calculus 
  • Presence of gingivitis 
  • Presence of plaque 
  • Current and past caries 
  • Presence of extrinsic stains
  • Current and past periodontal health 
  • Compliance of the family and patient 
  • Cooperation and age of the patient 
  • Family history of periodontal disease and caries 
  • Current systematic health/medical history including medications 
  • Local factors that may influence the build-up as well as retention of plaque

Frequency of this Treatment 

If a person practices good oral hygiene regularly at home, they will need professional dental cleaning services two times a year. In some cases, people with excellent dental health can visit the dentist every nine months or so. But those showing signs of any gum disease are recommended to go for cleanings every three months. This is crucial to stop progression to any severe problem, including the loss of a tooth. Remember, if periodontitis finally sets in, this cannot be reversed completely. 

An effective cleaning program will work wonders to prevent gum disease’s progression and its damaging effects. The dentist may determine the patient is prone to dental issues for several reasons, such as those having lots of cavities, having gum disease, or those who smoke. For those who have weakened immune systems, are diabetic, or pregnant, more frequent appointments may be needed. Thus, it is crucial to let the dentist know regarding health conditions because this can impact their prophylaxis schedule. In severe cases, find urgent dental care.

Step by Step Cleaning Process 

The professional cleaning will comprise scaling for removing tartar and plaque. There will also be professional polishing for removing stains, which cannot be removed by toothpaste alone. Besides, there will be an all-inclusive dental exam which will comprise, 

  • Disease Screening – The dentist will check the patient’s gums, throat, tongue, lips, neck, and face for abnormal symptoms such as cancer. 
  • Teeth Examination- The dentist will check every tooth surface for decay and restorative work conditions, if any, such as crowns and fillings. 
  • Periodontal Evaluation- The dentist will look for periodontal disease symptoms such as bad breath, redness in the gums, swelling, and bleeding. 
  • X-rays- In some cases, dentists need X-rays to check symptoms of further issues. 
  • Periodontal Probing- The dentist will check the patient’s gum tissue’s depth through a periodontal probe. 
  • Oral Care Recommendations- After the exam and cleaning, the dentist will make suggestions that will help the patient optimize their oral health care routine at home. It will comprise frequent flossing or paying close attention to specific parts where there can be higher plaque build-up. The dentist may also recommend brushing tips if the patient brushes too aggressively. 
  • Fluoride Treatment- This is applied to utilize dental trays and a flavored gel or foam to protect and strengthen tooth enamel. 

Prophylaxis for Children 

Kids have special needs for dental care. After all, they are incredibly prone to decay or other dental issues. Poor oral health is a common health condition of the majority of the kids. Dental experts recommend that children have their initial dental examination and prophylactic treatment at 1 year of age. A pediatric dentist specializes in helping kids that experience anxiety and fear associated with dental visits. The primary goal of prophylaxis’ early intervention for young kids is getting them accustomed to visiting the dentist early. The dentist can help administer preventative procedures when the need is, like fluoride treatments and sealants, to stop the tooth’s decaying down the road. 

Benefits Galore 

Dental prophylaxis offers an array of benefits. Some of them are

  • Aesthetics – It is indeed challenging for people with stained or yellow teeth to be confident of their smiles. Here prophylaxis can help fix this issue by removing teeth stains, hence augmenting the teeth’ look and giving back a confident smile to the patient. 
  • Removal of Tartar – If tartar and plaque develop at the gumlines and does not get treated on time, they may lead to serious gum problems. During this stage, brushing and flossing become ineffective, and a dentist only can address these problems. 
  • Fresher Breath – This is a symptom that signifies the likelihood that one has periodontal disease. Through prophylaxis, dentists can alleviate gum irritation along with improving one’s breath. 

To know more about prophylaxis treatment, consult a dentist near you. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.