What is Dental Prophylaxis?

How a Dental Hygienist Can Make Teeth Sparkle and Shine

Most dental instructors tell their students that they should brush each quadrant for at least 30 seconds. They also say it would be best to focus on the posterior areas, as these are harder to clean. Although most of us brush and floss at least twice daily, this is not enough to keep our teeth safe from bacteria, plaque and tartar.

As we have to rush to work or school in the morning, we may not have 3 minutes to spare. This puts us at a risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

Understanding Dental Prophylaxis

Dental prophylaxis is a procedure that involves cleaning the teeth and the subgingival areas to remove any plaque or calcification. This is usually done twice a year by a dental hygienist. However, some people have heavier build-ups due to medication, illness or genetic predisposition.

These individuals may have to go to the dentist every other month for this procedure. Please note that this procedure also involves an oral cavity assessment, wherein your dentist or hygienist has to check for abnormalities like ulcers, cavities and even warning signs of oral cancer.

Make an Appointment Today with Dr. Hauser and One of his Highly Skilled, Registered Dental Hygienists to Maintain Great Oral Health.

Why Scaling and Polishing Helps

  • Fresher Breath

Halitosis is not always caused by internal factors. At times, bacterial build-up can cause stinky breath. Scaling removes the offending particles and restores the confidence of the patient.

  • Stain Removal

Coffee, tea, soda, red wine, berries and colored sauces are hard to avoid. These delicious food options can stain the teeth, especially if you consume them regularly. These external stains are removed during the polishing procedure.

  • Stronger Teeth

Fluoride treatment is part of the dental cleaning procedure. It is done to strengthen the enamel layer.

The Procedure

This procedure will usually involve the use of an oral anesthetic to prevent discomfort, as this involves debridement of the subgingival area in most patients. The procedure varies in length depending on each case.

  • Scaling

This is the first part of the procedure and the most important one. This is done to remove any biofilm, plaque or tartar above and under the gumline. It involves the use of manual scaling tools or an ultrasonic cleaning device.

  • Polishing

Polishing involves the use of a handheld rotary device that operates on high or low speed. It is done to smooth out the tooth surfaces, making teeth sparkle. Please keep in mind that this is not just for aesthetic purposes. A smoother surface will make it harder for plaque and bacteria to adhere to your teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

  • Fluoride Treatment

Tooth enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite. It is not as strong as the dentin layer found below. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel by turning it into fluoroapatite. This process occurs after coming into contact with fluoride.

While this procedure is not meant to substitute brushing and flossing twice daily, dental prophylaxis is an important part of keeping the oral cavity healthy. However, it would be best have the procedure done by a skilled hygienist.

Dr. Hauser has three registered dental hygienists who are licensed to perform a dental prophylaxis procedure. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call (951) 244-9495.

Registered Dental Hygienists at Lakefront Family Dentistry
Registered Dental Hygienists at Lakefront Family Dentistry

Our Patients Rank Dr. Mark Phillipe, DDS, and Dr. Derek Hauser, DDS, as the #1 Private Cosmetic and Family Dentist Practice in the Inland Empire!