| Home | Our Office |Our Services| Staff | Patient Education | Site Map |
Prophylaxis is designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease. The purpose of polishing tooth surfaces is to make these surfaces smooth which makes it more difficult for plaque and debris to accumulate on your teeth to cause decay or gum disease
Dental polishing or prophy, is rarely done at the first appointment due to restrictions applied by patients dental plans and is only done after completing the clinical exam if there is no presence of gum disease.
It is professionally defined as a procedure that includes scaling and polishing procedures to remove coronal plaque, calculus and stains deposits that are coronal only (which rarely exist) and is a scaling and polishing procedure for patients in a healthy oral state.**
Professional polishing removes plaque, tartar, and stain from the teeth. It is a cosmetic procedure that removes surface stains on the crown part of the tooth or above the gumline so they will look and feel cleaner. However, this procedure is not a procedure that cleans infected, diseased gum tissue and root surfaces. This is only a superficial cleaning and will not eliminate disease or get it under control.
This cleaning may be done by your dentist, dental hygienist, and/or a licensed professional who performs this polishing in the dental office along with education in the proper care of your teeth and gums.
It's main purpose is to improve the appearance of your teeth by making them look cleaner and brighter.
It's "just a cleaning"….
Many people think of a dental polishing as the dental equivalent of car waxing. Actually, the combination of a prophy and a routine examination is the first-line defense against catastrophic dental problems.
Years of experience has shown that the best way to prevent dental pain and expense is to prevent the problem in the first place .... brushing and flossing. At least half a dozen studies have shown that people with poor oral health tend to be at risk for heart disease.
When a bacterial strain commonly found in dental plaque was infused into the blood stream of rabbits by University of Minnesota researchers, they found the microbe quickly induced the same type of clotting that often leads to heart attacks. The bacterial infusion was also associated with increased blood pressure and a faster heart rate."
So whatever is making you want to delay your prophy and exam doesn't matter to the harmful bacteria in your mouth; they will still multiply at their usual rate, and your risks will escalate. The easiest and least-costly thing you can do to protect yourself is to schedule your dental exam today.
Remember you not purchasing only a dental procedure you are making an investment, an investment in your future dental and overall health.
The cleaning involves:
Polishing is done with a special "paste" that is used with a motorized instrument and rubber cup that removes the remaining plaque and surface stains caused by various food, beverages and tobacco.
ADA statement on prophy and joint replacement
polishing does not
**Carol Tekavec, RDH, Dental Economics March, 2000