How Often Should You Have Oral Prophylaxis?
Why is dental prophylaxis required?
Even though your home dental care regime may be effective, there are many dental problems that are difficult to spot or even prevent at home. There are many dental disorders which do not cause pain or display any obvious signs. We will treat these issues with an in-depth review during your dental prophylaxis visit. We will check for cavities and decay and provide treatments that will help you avoid painful, costly restorations down the road. We'll also remove the tartar and plaque build-up that can lead to decay and gum disease.
What is plaque and tartar?
Plaque is an invisible sticky film, containing millions of bacteria. Plaque can only be removed by professional cleaning. The living bacteria will continue to grow, if left in your mouth. This creates toxins in combination with food debris and saliva that can cause tooth decay and inflammate your gums.
The first stage of periodontal disease is inflamed gums, or "gingivitis." If left to develop, the condition becomes more severe, called periodontitis. If plaque is not removed, it is a tougher material known as tartar. This is more difficult to remove than plaque, and contributes to cavities. When tartar and calculus form above and below the gum line, they must be removed using dental instruments before they cause serious gum, teeth, and bone problems.
How often is dental prophylaxis required?
If you practice excellent oral hygiene at home, you only need twice a year to have a qualified dental clean. In fact, in some cases you might also be able to return every 9 months for those with excellent dental health. If you do have symptoms of gum disease, however, cleaning is recommended every three to four months. It is done to help avoid progression to severe problems like loss of the tooth. When periodontitis sets in, it cannot be reversed altogether. A successful cleaning program will help to avoid the gum disease progression and its harmful effects.
For a number of reasons we may decide that you are at high risk of dental illness. This may include those who have smoking, gum disease, and those who have multiple cavities. If you are pregnant, diabetic or have a weakened immune system, you might need more regular appointments. That's why it is important to let us know about health conditions, as they can affect your schedule for prophylaxis.
What are the benefits of cleanings?
There are many benefits to cleanings including:
- Plaque removal
- Tartar removal
- Whiter, shinier teeth
- Fresher breath
- A preventative approach to managing dental and oral health
- Stain remova
What to expect at your cleaning appointments
Your professional cleaning will include scaling for plaque and tartar removals. You'll also have a good polish to avoid staining but can't cure toothpaste by itself. You will also receive a full dental test, which will include:
- Disease Screening: We will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gums for any signs of abnormal conditions, including cancer.
- Periodontal Evaluation: We will look for signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding, swelling, redness of the gums, and bad breath.
- Examination of the Teeth: We will check all tooth surfaces for decay, as well as the condition of any restorative work, like fillings and crowns.
- X-rays: In some cases, X-rays will be taken to look for signs of further issues.
- Oral Care Recommendations: After your review and cleaning we will make recommendations to help you refine your home oral health regime. This can include flossing more often or paying more attention to certain places where more plaque build-up may occur. If you seem to be brushing too vigorously, we might give you brushing tips too.
- Periodontal Probing: We will measure the depth of your gum tissue with a periodontal probe.
- Fluoride Treatment: For the defense and strengthening of tooth enamel, fluoride treatments are applied using a flavored foam or gel and dental trays.
Any issues will be reported to your dentist and treatment will be recommended.
Are You Looking for Preventative Dentistry Experts You Can Trust?
Drs. Jabbour and Kwon know that the perfect smile takes precision as well as a depth of knowledge in multiple aspects of dentistry. In addition to general dentistry, they have sought extensive education in the areas of preventative dentistry. Combining today's advanced dental treatments and materials, along with the skill, experience, and commitment of our practice, (using both science and artistry) we can literally redesign your smile. Even a subtle change in your smile helps you to project an image of self-confidence and high personal esteem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!