What Is Prophylaxis (Dental)?
Prophylaxis (dental) is a preventative measure used to maintain healthy teeth and gums. The appointment involves a professional cleaning of your teeth and gums. This helps to remove plaque and tartar, which can cause gum disease if left untreated.
More generally, the word prophylaxis can refer to any measures taken to prevent disease. This might include vaccinations, wearing sunscreen, or quitting smoking. The word comes from Ancient Greek pro (before) and phulaxis (guarding).
When Is It Needed?
It’s recommended that everyone have a prophylaxis (dental) appointment at least once per year. If you have gum disease, you might need to go more frequently. If you have bad breath despite keeping up with oral hygiene, it might also be time for a dental visit. Your dentist will be able to tell you how often you should come in for an appointment.
How to Prepare for Dental Prophylaxis
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for dental prophylaxis. Just show up to your appointment on time and brush your teeth beforehand. You don’t want to have food particles on your teeth when the hygienist starts cleaning!
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of prophylaxis (dental) will vary depending on your insurance coverage and the dentist you see. Some dental offices offer discounts for people who pay cash upfront. You can also look into dental schools if you want to save money on the procedure. Usually, it costs between $50 and $100. With root planing and periodontal scaling, the price can go up to $300.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning Appointment?
During dental prophylaxis, the dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth and gums. They will remove plaque and tartar with a scaler. This is a metal tool that looks like a small pick. When they’re removing tartar from the surface of your teeth, it’s called teeth scaling.
The hygienist will then floss your teeth and polish them with a special toothpaste. This helps to remove any remaining stains. It also leaves your teeth with a nice shine!
Some people may need a more complex procedure called a full-mouth debridement – it’s a step up from prophylaxis. It’s necessary if there is a lot of tartar or if you have gum disease, and it often uses ultrasonic instruments.
How Long Does the Appointment Take?
A regular dental prophylaxis appointment usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. This can vary depending on how much tartar needs to be removed and how many teeth need to be cleaned.
What Is Periodontal Probing?
Periodontal probing is a procedure that’s often done during dental prophylaxis. It involves measuring the depth of the pockets around your teeth. These pockets are spaces between your teeth and gums that can trap bacteria and plaque.
The hygienist will use a special tool to measure the depth of these pockets. They will insert the tool into the pocket and then measure how far it goes in. This helps them to determine if you have gum disease and how severe it is.
If you do have gum disease, the hygienist may recommend a more intensive treatment plan. This might involve more frequent prophylaxis appointments or a different type of cleaning called root planing.
Benefits of Dental Prophylaxis
Now that you know what prophylaxis (dental) means, you might be wondering why it’s important. After all, it’s just a teeth cleaning, right? Wrong! Dental prophylaxis is important for several reasons.
- It helps to remove plaque and calculus deposits from your teeth. This can prevent gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, and other dental problems.
- It helps to remove stains from your teeth. This can make your smile brighter and more attractive.
- It gives the dentist or hygienist a chance to check for oral health problems. They can catch problems early and provide treatment before they become more serious.
It’s important to keep up with your prophylaxis appointments. This will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come!
What If You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in a While?
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, don’t worry! It’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist and they will help you get back on track.
They may recommend more frequent prophylaxis dental appointments at first. This is because you may have a build-up of plaque and tartar. Once your teeth are clean, you can return to your regular prophylaxis schedule.
Don’t wait any longer – schedule an appointment with your dentist today! They will help you keep your smile healthy and bright.
Keep Up With Prophylaxis Appointments for Better Oral Health
Prophylaxis (dental) is a simple and effective way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It’s important to keep up with your prophylaxis appointments and to see your dentist regularly. This will help to prevent oral health problems in the future.
Have you been to the dentist recently? What was it like? Tell us about it in the comments!
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