Suffering from gum disease? The dentist may probably suggest you to undergo oral prophylaxis. Although the term sounds too medical and complex, prophylaxis is a very important dental treatment that basically means a through, professional teeth cleaning procedure.
What is Oral Prophylaxis?
The effective procedure that helps maintain the health of the oral cavity and halt the progress of a gum disease, preventing tooth decay as well as dental plaque or tartar.
Prophylaxis is a very important part of the dental treatment concerning gingivitis and periodontal disease.
How is Oral Prophylaxis Carried Out?
A dentist can carry out prophylaxis by cleaning the surface of the teeth as well as the area below the gums. This is carried out with the help of scaling and polishing.
Scaling is a procedure wherein the dentist will get rid of all the accumulated tartar or calculus. It also helps get rid of the stubborn teeth stains that cannot be removed with simple brushing.
Polishing of the teeth is carried out with the help a rotating electrical toothbrush and special toothpaste.
What are the Benefits of Oral Prophylaxis?
Prophylaxis helps with:
- Removal of plaque buildup above and below the gumline. Even with regular brushing and flossing at home, it is impossible to remove bacteria, debris and deposits in the gum pockets. Thus, oral prophylaxis will make sure no plaque or calculus remains in your teeth.
- Make your teeth appear brighter and whiter by removal of stains and yellowing.
- Give you fresher breath as it is a sign of advancing periodontal disease.
Procedure for Oral Prophylaxis
Prophylaxis can be performed as a part of the regular dental visit or it may even be carried out under general anesthetic. Anesthesia is given to patients with severe periodontal disease. An endotracheal tube may be placed in the throat to prevent bacteria from passing into the lungs from the mouth during cleanup.
- Supragingival cleaning – The dentist will first clean the area above the gum line with the help of scaling tools
- Subgingival cleaning – The dentist will remove calculus from the gum pockets and under the gum line
- Root planing – The tooth root considered for elimination of bacteria. This helps in eliminating any infection present, especially in case of patients with moderate to severe periodontitis.
- Antimicrobial medication – After scaling, polishing and root planing, the dentist will place an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream on the gum. This will help in quick healing of the pockets and ease the discomfort.
- X-ray examination – X-rays may be taken to identify areas and extent of bone and gum recession that may require further treatment.
Oral prophylaxis should be carried out at least twice a year. It is a type of preventive measure that will help put a stop to the destructive periodontal and gum diseases. If you have any further question, speak to your dentist in detail regarding this effective dental treatment.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: January 30, 2015