Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)

Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) is a preventive dental treatment performed regularly by Dr. Clanton’s hygienists to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums.  Regularly scheduled appointments for prophylaxis are important in keeping teeth and their supporting structures in proper health and preventing periodontal disease.

The benefits of prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) include:

  • Plaque and tartar (calculus) removal – Plaque and tartar buildup both above and below the gum line can result in serious periodontal (gum) problems.  Even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it is impossible to remove all debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets.  The experienced eye and hands of Dr. Clanton’s hygienists utilizing specialized instruments and equipment allow for removal of the potentially damaging buildup of these deposits (helping to ensure healthy teeth and gums).
  • A healthier looking smile – Stained and darkened teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile.  A prophylaxis performed by Dr. Clanton’s hygienist can be very effective in ridding teeth of unsightly stains and greatly enhancing the brightness of your smile.
  • Fresher breath – Bad breath (halitosis) can be reduced by removal of plaque and calculus – this also reduces chance of infection, inflammation and helps prevent periodontal disease. 
  • Reduced risk of systemic disease – Recent studies have indicated there is a direct link between your oral health and overall health of your body.  Prophylaxis is effective in decreasing the chance of infection related to periodontal (gum) disease and its association with other health problems (heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc.).

Dr. Clanton employs a team of dental hygienists that are highly trained in providing prophylaxis procedures.  They frequently will use special hand held instruments (scalers and curettes) to access areas around and in between teeth for effective removal of plaque and calculus.  Sometimes an ultrasonic scaler may also be utilized to break up and loosen hardened deposits.  Teeth are later polished with a rotary brush/rubber cup using a special polishing paste to make them smooth and shiny.  Thorough flossing and irrigation or rinsing of the mouth will follow to complete the procedure along with personalized and helpful home care instructions.

Prophylaxis procedures are generally not known to be an uncomfortable experience.  Many of our patients report they even “enjoy” the experience along with the dramatic results that can be seen when prophylaxis is complete – a much brighter smile!  Dr. Clanton’s hygienists are always attentive to each patient’s needs and are concerned about patient comfort.  If for any reason discomfort occurs, a topical anesthetic numbing gel can be applied or local anesthetic can be administered as needed. 

Daily brushing and flossing will certainly help keep dental plaque and calculus to a minimum, but a prophylaxis performed by Dr. Clanton’s hygienist is important in the maintenance of your oral health and prevention of periodontal disease.  Our office recommends that patients be seen every six months (some patients every 3 or 4 months) for optimal dental health.