Teeth Cleaning

Dental Prophylaxis

A woman having her teeth cleanedA dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Dental prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Dental prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease.

During your regular check ups, we measure the space between your teeth and the gums. This measurement indicates the amount of bacteria that is around your teeth. Measurements of 1-3 mms indicate a healthy mouth. Measurements that are deeper indicate variable states of periodontal disease. The treatment for periodontal disease is to scale and plane the teeth under the gums while numb. The goal of this treatment is to remove the plaque that is deep under the gums, and which you cannot clean at home, to allow the tissue to shrink back. In case of periodontal disease, we may recommend that you increase the frequency of your visit to the hygienist to every 3-4 months.

The benefits of professional teeth cleaning 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 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.

Professional dental cleaning can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but dental cleanings are one of the tools Dr. Drexel and Dr. Frey can use to effectively halt its progression.