Dental prophylaxis commonly called a "Prophy", is when a dental hygienist scales around the gum line and above to remove biofilm and/or calculus. It is often recommended to have dental prophylaxis two times a year to maintain overall oral health. At this visit your dental hygienist will provide a screening to check your gum health. Maintaining your visits will reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and dementia.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
Scaling and root planing also known as a "deep cleaning", is when a dental hygienist scales around and below the gum line to remove high levels of bacteria and calculus. A deep cleaning is the recommended treatment when a patient has bone and tissue loss with high levels of inflammation. To effectively treat periodontal disease your hygienist will use topical and local anesthesia. The overall desired outcome is to reduce inflammation, stop the progression of the disease and stabilize the periodontal disease. Patients that are diagnosed with periodontal disease cannot be treated with a prophylaxis. To maintain periodontal disease after scaling and root planing, it is suggested to return to your dental office for periodontal maintenance appointments three to four times per year.
Oral Health Linked to Overall Health
Do not think of your dental hygiene appointment as "just a cleaning". While you are at your dental appointment, your dental professional are working hard to keep you at your best by; prophylaxis of your teeth, checking for cavities, oral cancer screening, educating, and promoting good health habits and choices.
Poor oral health is linked to many systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and diabetes. Overtime chronic inflammation, gingivitis, can increase to periodontal disease causing the loss of bone and tissue lending to early tooth loss. The risk of heart disease can increase by three times with the presence of periodontal disease. Diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease, and because of this link, the American Diabetes Association has listed periodontal disease as the sixth complication of diabetes.
Periodontal disease is a common disease with little to no alert. Approximately 42% of adults have some form of periodontal disease. Without the help of your dental professional, periodontal disease goes undetected. One of the most deceiving traits of periodontal disease is that most people experience no pain unless in the advanced stages.
A health mouth starts with a clean mouth. Good brushing and flossing/water piking habits reduce bacteria that live in our mouths causing the infection and inflammation that can contribute to many diseases. It is recommended that you see your dental health professional at least two times per year. At these appointments your hygienist is working to remove build up or tartar that has formed that cannot be brushed off at home. Prevention is the key to preventing and treating periodontal disease, which will give you a chance at optimal health.