For many patients, the dental cleaning appointment may seem little more than a complicated version of brushing your teeth. An unimportant dental appointment which is optional.
However, this professional cleaning plays an essential role in patient education and the prevention of dental disease. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and in this case, dental cleaning is a preventative treatment; helping you to avoid the considerable cost of treating diseases like periodontitis.
The appointment is technically called a dental prophylaxis or prophy. And it’s one of the most important parts of your dental care program. It can also be undertaken at the same time as your recommended 6 monthly oral examination. Depending on your needs, here are some of the elements that the prophy may include:
- Oral hygiene evaluation.
- Tooth brushing and flossing instructions.
- Scaling above the gum to remove plaque and tartar.
- Debridement (removal) of tartar beneath the gum.
- Polishing the teeth.
- Periodontal charting.
Removing plaque from your teeth is hugely important? Left to accumulate, the plaque will form a hard and rough sediment known as tartar or calculus. This must be removed by a dental professional to avoid the development of periodontal disease.
The other benefits of a dental clean and polishing is to remove stains, creating a feeling of fresh breath and a clean mouth.
The hygienist or dentist may recommend a prophylaxis visit every two to six months. Although insurance may only cover two prophies a year, recall frequency depends on many factors and is based on individual needs. In summary, these appointments can help with better dental health and could save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.
Please contact Dr. Kelli Slate at her Lakewood dental office to schedule your dental cleaning or telephone (214) 821-8639.