What Does Oral Prophylaxis Involve?

What Does Oral Prophylaxis Involve?

Nov 01, 2021

Healthy oral hygiene habits and routines are a prerequisite for perfect dental health. Regular brushing and flossing of the teeth are healthy oral hygiene practices that aim to rid teeth of dental infections, diseases, and their causal agents. Tooth decay, a common dental problem in people of all ages, is caused by the infestation of the mouth by dental plaques.

Dental plaques form when there’s an interaction between the bacteria in the mouth, saliva, and sugary/starchy food particles. They use sugar to produce acid which wears down the tooth enamel and leads to decay. Tooth decay causes severe pain, accessed tooth, gum diseases, and a lot of other dental health problems.

Regular brushing, flossing, and other oral hygiene practices are not enough to rid the mouth of plaques and agents causing dental diseases. This is because these practices only do their best to keep dental plaques and other bacteria at bay. They cannot assess your risk of having dental infections, neither can they detect dental defects or conditions in time to treat them. These practices alone are not enough to keep a healthy mouth void of dental diseases and infections. This is why periodic oral prophylaxis is recommended to complement healthy oral hygiene practices.

Oral prophylaxis involves dental checkups, examinations, cleaning, and preventive dental health procedures conducted by a dental professional to assess the state of your dental health and protect you from dental health problems. The procedures involved in oral prophylaxis are considered to promote dental health.

Dental Prophylaxis Services

The dental services involved in an oral prophylaxis procedure include:

  • Dental Examination: A dental examination is a preventive health procedure in which an individual is screened and checked for dental decay, cavities, gum diseases, and other dental defects and diseases. A dental exam can help to detect threatening dental health issues before they can cause damage to the dental health of an individual. Dental exams also detect medical health issues like diabetes, leukemia, etc. During a dental examination, a dentist examines the mouth with the aid of light and dental devices. While doing this, the dentist looks out for signs and symptoms of dental diseases or defects. Also, the dentist might employ the use of diagnostic machines to inspect the parts of the mouth that are invisible to the naked eyes.
  • Dental X-ray: X-rays of your mouth helps your dentist see the parts that are invisible to the naked eyes. X-rays assist in dental examinations and also help to detect dental health problems in time to nip them in the bud. However, the use of X-rays should be occasional depending on the age, risks of diseases, oral health, and discomfort of the patient.
  • Dental Cleaning: Typically, a dental cleaning comes after a dental examination. Dental cleanings involve a thorough cleaning of the teeth and mouth to rid them of dental plaques, tartar, and other bacterial infections. A prophylaxis dental cleaning is deeper than a regular brushing or flossing of the teeth, therefore, it is more effective.
  • Periodontal Probing: A periodontal probing involves examining the gums to determine if you are at risk of developing gum diseases.
  • Scaling Or Root Planing: This is a process through which tartar and other organism deposits are cleaned and scraped away from the teeth.
  • Flossing And Polishing: Flossing is the process of removing food particles and dental plaques between the teeth. Polishing involves using a dental paste to remove stains and dental plaques.
  • Fluoride And Dental Sealants Treatment: A fluoride treatment involves the use of a high concentration of fluoride solution to treat the teeth. This strengthens the teeth and fortifies the enamel against tooth decay. Sealants are wafer-thin plastic coatings placed or painted on the occlusal (chewing) surface of the teeth to prevent decay. These two are forms of preventive dentistry.

Contrary to popular belief, oral prophylaxis procedures are not painful, and might not even require anesthesia.

Purpose Of Oral Prophylaxis

Oral prophylaxis helps to prevent oral health complications through its professional cleanings and early intervention of dentists. This results in less money, time, and resources spent on dental health problems.

Taylor: 313-292-7777

West Bloomfield: 248-668-0022

Bloomfield Hills: 248-647-8656