Oral prophylaxis refers to the professional cleaning of teeth and gums. It includes scaling and root planing and is proven to be highly effective at stopping the progression of gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
As long as you are an established patient at our office, we will have you come in on a 3-6 month basis for general dental cleanings. These are in place for patients that have healthy gum tissue measuring 1-3 mm.
Our hygienist will use a water instrument to clean the teeth and flush out any debris and bacteria that is hiding under the gum line. She will then use a series of instruments to remove any additional tarter build-up and stain. The last step would be using a prophylaxis polisher to polish the teeth and floss.
We will always recommend a fluoride treatment at the end of every visit as fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth and also helps areas with restorations and/or sensitivity.
Oral prophylaxis includes two processes
Scaling:Scaling is a process of removing the plaque and tartar deposits from the surface of the teeth. Tartar is, by far, the most prominent cause of periodontitis in individuals. The bacteria in the dark, sticky matter cause the infection of the gum tissues and could lead to several complications such as receding of gums, bleeding, the decay of gum tissues, tooth loss, etc. Scaling uses a hand-held scaler that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies to get rid of the tartar deposits.
Root planing: Though we brush and floss thoroughly, the bristles of the toothbrush can’t reach the roots of the teeth. The gap between the tooth roots and the gums could house a lot of debris and turn into a breeding ground for microbes. Also, the gum pockets could contain a lot of bacteria in them. Root planing is a procedure used to remove the tartar deposits from the root surfaces and also to smoothen them out to remove the surface imperfections.
Advantages of oral prophylaxis
- Removing plaque and tartar reduces the chances of contracting any oral infection.
- The aesthetics of the teeth would improve after the dark tartar deposits are removed.
- As the procedures get rid of the bacteria from the mouth, the severity of bad breath would be reduced.
To have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Shirley Zao, please schedule an online appointment or call us at (925) 847-8790, and we will be happy to help.