Dental prophylaxis is a tooth cleaning procedure performed to professionally clean the teeth. Dental prophylaxis (dental cleaning) in Brooklyn, NY is a very important dental treatment for halting the progression of gingivitis.

Periodontitis occurs when the bacteria from dental calculus colonize the gingival tissue, above or even below the gum line. These bacteria colonies can cause severe inflammation and irritation which then can produce a chronic inflammatory response in the blood. As a result, the blood begins to systematically destroy gum tissues and jawbone, making the teeth shift, loosen, or fall out. The pockets between the gums and teeth become wider and deeper and house even more bacteria which can then travel via blood and spread to other parts of the body.

Why you need prophylaxis/teeth cleaning

Dental prophy is an effective procedure in helping keep the gums in good condition and also halt gingival disease.

Here are some of the benefits of dental prophy:

  • Aesthetics. It is hard to feel confident about a smile that has yellow, stained teeth. Dental prophy can clean the teeth of unsightly stains and return the smile to its natural beauty.
  • Tartar removal. Tartar and plaque buildup, above and below the gums, can cause serious periodontal disease if left alone. Even using the best brushing and flossing techniques, it can be impossible to remove debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using special dental equipment is required in order to detect problems like plaque and calculus buildup.
  • Identification of health issues. Several health problems first present themselves to the dentist. Since prophylaxis involves a comprehensive check up of the entire mouth, Dr. Shahin, the dentist in Brooklyn, can evaluate the risk of gingival disease, perform oral cancer screening, and spot signs of other systemic medical problems, such as diabetes and kidney disease at the same time.
  • Fresher breath. Gum disease is often signified by persistent bad breath (halitosis). Bad breath is mainly caused by a combination of possible gangrene from gum infection, periodontal problems, and rotting food particles under the gums. The removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria can improve bad breath and irritation.

What does dental prophylaxis entail?

Dental prophy can either be performed during a routine dental visit or, if necessary, with local anesthesia. The latter is particularly common where severe periodontal disease is diagnosed by the dentist.

Prophylaxis treatment is generally performed in multiple stages:

  1. Supragingival cleaning – The dentist will carefully clean the area above the gum line with scaling instruments to eliminate plaque and calculus.
  2. Subgingival cleaning – This step is important for patients with periodontal disease because the dentist is able to remove calculus from the gingival pockets and beneath the gums.
  3. Root planing - This is the scraping of the roots by the dentist to remove any remaining bacteria. These bacteria are extremely dangerous to gum health, so eliminating them is a top priority of the dentist.
  4. Medication - Following scaling and root planing, an antibacterial agent is usually applied to the gum pockets to promote faster healing in the gums and help ease discomfort.
  5. X-ray and examination – Diagnostic X-rays can be very helpful when it comes to gingival disease. X-rays reveal the extent of bone loss and gum recession and also help the dentist in spotting areas that may need attention in the future.

Prophylaxis treatment in Brooklyn is advised every 6 months as a preventative measure, but should be performed every three or four months on patients with periodontal disease. Although gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the best tools the dentist can use to effectively halt its progression.

If you have questions or concerns about dental prophy or periodontal disease in Brooklyn or Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, or any other neighborhood in Brooklyn NY, please contact Brooklyn Dentist.