Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is Oral Prophylaxis ? Is It Necessary Every 6 Months

What is Oral prophylaxis

Oral prophylaxis in simple words is nothing but a dental procedure by which your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth using a hand instruments or ultrasonic scaler.

No matter how good you are at cleaning your teeth there is some amount of deposit always left between your teeth and at gum line, this deposits are soft in early stage and called as plaque, as the time advances and cleaning is neglected these soft plaque will change into hard tarter (calculus) which becomes difficult to remove even by brushing. This plaque and calculus give rise to periodontitis and gingivitis (gum infections)

Oral prophylaxis is a preventive procedure with an aim to remove these plaque and calculus so that you should not suffer from any kind of gum infection.

Other benefits of oral prophylaxis- If a patient regularly visits a dentist and get oral prophylaxis done on regular basis then chances of having tooth decay and tooth ache is very less. Why ?

Simple reason; as you will visit your dentist in every six month and get prophylaxis done your dentist will thoroughly check and examine your mouth. If he find out a small cavity he will fill it right at that moment. Usually it takes 6 month for a cavity to form and start bothering you so you can avoid it by visiting your dentist every six months and get oral prophylaxis done.

Other conditions before which you may be advised for oral prophylaxis

  • Before orthodontic treatment - because it's better to start the treatment with cleaner teeth. The brackets will bond properly and chances of perodontitis and gingivitis in during the course of treatment will reduce dramatically.
  • Before any kind of bridge or implant  - Because of the above reason and to reduce the failure rate of the procedure and by plaque and calculus contamination.
  • Before cancer radiation therapy - To reduce the chances or caries and gum infections during radiation therapy of head and neck region. 
  • Before cosmetic dental procedures-  procedures like composite bonding and bleaching will demand a oral prophylaxis before any kind of cosmetic treatment.

How is oral prophylaxis done

  • You will be asked to sit back and relax on the dental chair, If it's your first visit then your dentist will take a detailed medical history of yours. 
  • Dentist will examine your mouth and look for signs of periodontal pockets and gum infections.
  • An ultrasonic scaler will be used to clean your teeth ( it's a hand held devices with a hand piece and pointy tip. 
  • It ejects pressurized water and the tip vibrates in order to remove the plaque and calculus from the teeth surface.)
  • Tricky spots and difficult to reach areas will be cleaned with hand instruments.
  • You will be notified about any cavity of gum problems.

Prophy paste : Image Via

  • In the end a prophylaxis pasted will be used for polishing the tooth surface. ( a miniature rubber cup is fitted over a hand piece and small amount of prophy paste will be applied on the cup and your teeth will be polished.

  • If done properly it's a painless procedure.
  • Ta Da! you are done and good to go home. Say bye bye to cavities. Thanks to Oral Prophylaxis 
  • Don't forget to get it done every six month if your are not good at brushing and flossing.



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