Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)

A woman having her teeth cleaned

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

Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease. The benefits include:

  • Plaque and calculus removal. Plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup occur both above and below the gum line and 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 treat the 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 (halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of decaying food particles (possibly below the gum line) and tissue breakdown from gum infection result in bad breath.  The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our office can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.

Prophylaxis can be performed at our office or by your general dentist. In general we recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers.  In more severe cases it may be beneficial to have your periodontal maintenance cleanings done by Dr. Benedon who is more familiar with the full scope of your periodontal disease. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools Dr. Benedon can use to effectively halt its progression.