Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
What is a dental prophylaxis?
A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed by one of our dental hygienists to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Both of our hygienists, Shera Davis and Kathy Terrell, have over 30 years of dental experience. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Traditionally, it is performed every 6 months, but for those with periodontal issues, it may be every 3-4 months. We allot 60 minutes in our schedule for this appointment with you.
At your prophylaxis appointment, your hygienist will review your chief concerns, update your periodontal charting (measurements of bone and gum support), update necessary radiographs, discuss your home-care routine and diet with you, and perform plaque/calculus removal treatments.
Finally, Dr. Jill Colson or Dr. Chad Colson will perform an 8 step oral cancer screening, examine your teeth, bite, oral soft tissues, current radiographs, and periodontal charting. The findings will be reviewed with you. At this time, needed treatment is discussed and planned.
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Benefits of a professional dental cleaning:
- 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 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 these unsightly stains.
- Fresher breath: Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
- Examination by Dr. Chad Colson or Dr. Jill Colson: The dentist will perform an 8 step oral cancer screening, examine your teeth, bite, oral soft tissues, current radiographs, and periodontal charting. At this time, needed treatment is discussed and planned.
We recommend that prophylaxis be performed every 6 months as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for patients with periodontal disease. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools Dr. Colson or Dr. Colson can use to stabilize it or effectively slow its progression .