Oral hygiene is important, as every patient knows by now. However, no matter how well you clean, there are some places you can never reach in front of the mirror at home. Therefore, dentists recommend regular prophylaxis. But what exactly is being done there? And what should you watch out for? We have put together all the important facts about professional teeth cleaning for you.
What exactly is prophylaxis?
Prophylaxis means the individual professional tooth cleaning.
It is usually carried out by a specially trained prophylaxis assistant or a dental hygienist. It takes about an hour, depending on the oral situation, and cleans all your teeth, interdental spaces, and a little below the gumline. When cleaning your teeth, all soft and hard deposits, i.e. plaque and tartar, are removed. Dark discolorations and deposits can partially be removed at the same time.
How does prophylaxis work?
The prophylaxis assistant uses various instruments to clean your teeth during professional tooth cleaning.
Dentist usually uses an ultrasound, which can remove the extremely hard deposits. Dentist also has small scraping instruments with which he or she gently removes the soft plaque even below the gum line. Dental floss and special polishing strips are also used to clean the spaces between the teeth. After cleaning the teeth, the teeth are gently polished smooth with the help of a brush and polishing paste, so that both bacteria and discolorations can be more difficult to deposit again. At the end of the treatment, your teeth are usually fluoridated to protect them from tooth decay.
The instruments used and treatment steps
- Ultrasound for the extremely hard surfaces
- Scratching instruments for soft plaque
- Dental floss and special polishing strips for the interdental spaces
- Brush and polishing paste for polishing
- Fluoridation as protection against caries
Patients receive advice after the treatment about the right measures to improve their oral hygiene at home.
Is the prophylaxis & professional teeth cleaning worth it for you?
In short: prophylaxis is worthwhile for all patients.
It is important to know that the plaque that is removed comprises bacteria that cause inflammation and tooth decay. If the plaque and thus the inflammation can continue to spread undisturbed, gum inflammation quickly turns into profound periodontitis. No matter how thoroughly you brush and floss: In the interdental space and below the gum line, you cannot brush away the dangerous plaque that causes tooth decay and periodontitis yourself. In fact, besides flossing at home, professional dental cleaning at the dentist’s is the most effective method for preventing periodontal disease. This inflammation is a serious condition that affects the entire body.
The treatment can also reduce the risk of tooth decay: the cleaner the teeth, the less likely it is for the bacteria that cause tooth decay to adhere to them.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The advantages are obvious: better oral health. Disadvantages can be the costs and the slightly unpleasant treatment with thick plaque. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, so that prophylactic treatment can be recommended.
- Protection against diseases such as gum inflammation and periodontal disease
- Protection against tooth decay
- whiter teeth by removing discoloration
- Possibly costs, depending on the insurance
- Treatment can be uncomfortable if your teeth are very dirty