Prophylaxis is a dental procedure that involves thorough cleaning the teeth to slow the onset of periodontal disease and gingivitis. Prophylaxis can be performed during a general dentist visit or under general anesthesia if severe periodontal disease is suspected.

What is it?

Prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning, is a non-invasive dental procedure that involves thoroughly cleaning the teeth at a dental visit. The cleaning involves removing hardened tartar deposits that are unable to be removed during routine cleaning. Prophylaxis is not necessarily needed for people with any particular condition, but may be more important for those with periodontal disease, tooth decay, or plaque deposits.

What should I do to prepare?

There are no special preparations necessary for dental prophylaxis. However, it is important to maintain routine hygiene.

What happens during the process?

Prophylaxis is usually incorporated into a regular dental hygienist visit and lasts for about an hour. Prophylaxis includes brushing, flossing, and scrubbing teeth. Brushing helps prevent buildup of plaque on teeth. Flossing is used to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup in between teeth. Scrubbing or even scraping teeth is used to remove buildup that cannot be removed by brushing or flossing.

What are the risks and potential complications?

The most common complications with prophylaxis are related to vigorous teeth cleaning that results in damage to the gums. This damage can also lead to enamel problems, gingivitis, and bleeding gums.


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