Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
Dental prophylaxis is more than just a tooth cleaning. During the exam, several measures are used to monitor and improve the health of your teeth. First, the dental hygienist will take X-rays to look for any signs of tooth decay. Your dentist will review the X-rays and also check for any dental problems with a thorough oral exam. Next comes the removal of deposits from your teeth with an ultrasonic dental cleaning or scaling and root planing. Your dentist will most likely discuss with you any treatment plans he or she feels are necessary. Once you're in the clear, the dentist or dental hygienist may polish your teeth to give you a gleaming smile.
Dental prophylaxis is essential not only for maintaining your teeth, but is also used to treat the early stages of gum disease. Your dentist uses special tools to remove dental tartar, which you can't do on your own. Without regular dental visits, dental tartar can build up and start to form under the gum line. This eventually can lead to periodontal disease, which left untreated, may cause tooth loss. Advanced stages of gum disease may allow bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body. Studies have shown that gum disease has actually been linked to heart disease and stroke!