A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums around the teeth. It is an effective procedure for keeping the oral cavity in proper health and is an important dental treatment for decreasing the progression of cavities,  gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

The benefits include:

  • Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) 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 dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to remove 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 these unsightly stains.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) can be indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of food debris left behind (possibly below the gum line) and potential gum infection, can result in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our offices can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.

Prophylaxis can be performed at our offices. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for people with  a history of periodontal disease (see Periodontal Maintenance). Unfortunately, like high blood pressure, periodontal or gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis and maintenance are the tools our hygienists and our doctors can use to effectively slow or even halt its progression.