Oral Prophylaxis in Manila

Oral  prophylaxis is a common procedure in dentistry with purpose to  keep the oral cavity in good health and halt the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis.   Oral prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure performed by a dentist or oral hygienist in order to thoroughly clean the teeth. In this procedure  bacterial plaque and tartar are removed from te surface of the teeth with the help of scaling and polishing.

The need for this treatment and the frequency of treatments is different in different patients. Dentist will make individual recommendations about the frequency of getting prophylaxis appointments on the basis of a patient’s history and overall oral health.  Some patients will need  more frequent appointments, while others may need less frequently  treatments.  Oral prophylaxis is often  prescribed to people who have crooked teeth before starting the treatment with braces. This is because with braces properly cleaning start to be more difficult and the amount of plaque and food debris keeps on increasing until it starts causing problems.  Though patient must learn to brush and floss their teeth properly, oral prophylaxis can be considered if you have severely stained teeth due to common consummation of tea, cigarettes, coffee or wine.

During a oral prophylaxis treatment, dentist will perform both scaling and polishing. During the scaling process, dental instruments are used to remove tartar, plaque, and stains from the teeth surface. This step is called supragingival cleaning. The next step is subgingival cleaning. This is the most important step for patients with periodontal disease because the dentist is able to remove calculus from the gum pockets.  This is very important because even with regular flossing and brushing it is very difficult to reach and remove debris, bacteria and deposits from the below the gum line. This  can expose teeth to the risk of gum disease and dental decay.


Oral ProphylaxisAfter supragingival and subgingival cleaning dentist will perform the polishing process(picture 1.). Polishing will leave tooth surface smooth. Polishing is performed in order to prevent plaque renewal and make the teeth nicely smooth  so that bacteria cant retain.

The dental hygienist uses soft rubber cup and polishing paste. Polishing paste is applied on the area of the tooth which requires polishing. There are few types of prophylaxis paste. Some pastes have bigger particle sizes and they are more potent in removing the external stains and plaque. Some of the dental practitioners prefer using these pastes because they eliminate the dental stains easily and quickly.

However, pastes have bigger particle sizes have a high abrasive strength, and can cause the damage of the tooth enamel. Prophylaxis pastes which have smaller particle sizes make the tooth surface cleaner and also make the tooth surface less prone to plaque and stain accumulation. But, polishing with these pastes is a laborious and a  more time-consuming procedure.  If a cases when patient has severe stain, an air polishing system  can be used. This system is a jet of pressurized air and water mixed with an abrasive agent to polish the teeth.

x-rayThe next step is root planing.  Root planing is smoothing of the tooth root by the dentist in order to eliminate any remaining bacteria. These bacteria are especially dangerous to patients who sufferer periodontists, so eliminating them is one of the top priorities of the dentist. Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream can often be placed in the gum pockets. Unlike antibiotics which are taken orally to achieve a systemic effect, these antibiotic cremes   are placed specifically in the area of infection.  This allows the medication to infiltrate into the gum tissues and eliminate bacteria, providing even further disinfection and facilitation of healing.

X-ray and examination is  commonly performed i oral prophylaxis.   When it comes to periodontal disease Routine X-rays can  reveal early stages of bone loss. X-rays show the extent of bone loss and gum recession, caries between the teeth, and also aid the dentist in identifying areas which may need future attention.

During a dental prophylaxis appointment dentist will also examine your teeth and jaw for any signs of impaired oral health. This examination may reveal some medical issues such as periodontal disease, impacted wisdom teeth, dental caries, or even oral cancer – some of which will need immediate treatment. Identification of dental problems in early stages can help you deal with them before they become serious.

Fissure sealing and fluoride application can also be performed as a part of prophylaxis appointment. Fissure sealing is very good method for tooth decay prevention. It is easy, painless and effective.  It consists in filling fissures and pits in deciduous and permanent teeth with a special protective varnish. Fluoride application  is the most effective method of preventing decay in smooth, contact and cervical areas of teeth. This  is procedure where the tooth surface is coated  with fluoridated gels.

The oral  prophylaxis procedure is considered effective if the patient is subsequently able to maintain their periodontal health without further bone or attachment loss and if it prevents recurrent infection with periodontal pathogens. The long term effectiveness  depends on a  many factors. These factors include patient orall hygiene, disease progress at the time of intervention, depth of gum pockets, and anatomical factors like croocked teeth, concavities, and furcation involvement which may limit visibility of underlying deep calculus and debris.

Scaling and polishing is a procedure that must be done thoroughly and with attention to detail in order to ensure complete removal of all calculus and plaque supragingival and subgingival. Furthermore, oral prophylaxis appointment also allows for the review of home care, or necessary additions or education.

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