When was the last time you had a dental cleaning? If you think it doesn’t matter, you need to read on to learn about the importance of dental prophylaxis. This simple procedure is a major part of an oral health care regimen needed to prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth loss brought on by dental disease. Prophylaxis can prevent the need for a costly dental treatment, such as a tooth filling or gum disease treatment. And you only need to do it twice a year.

The medical term for a professional dental cleaning, prophylaxis is purely a preventive measure. Part of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other irritants from the oral cavity.

As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems. Unfortunately, some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Prophylaxis is one way to ensure a clean bill of oral health — at least for the next six months!

Differences between Prophylaxis vs Periodontal Therapy

Traditional teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a preventive measure that is typically done by a dental hygienist or dentist to remove plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. This type of cleaning is usually performed every six months and is intended to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Prophylaxis is a routine cleaning procedure that involves the use of special instruments to scrape and remove plaque and tartar from the teeth above and below the gum line.

Periodontal therapy, on the other hand, is a type of treatment that is used to address issues related to the gums and other structures that support the teeth, such as the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. This type of therapy is typically recommended for individuals who have gum disease, which is a condition in which the gums and other supporting structures of the teeth become infected and inflamed. Periodontal therapy can include procedures such as scaling and root planing, which involve the use of special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth below the gum line, as well as procedures such as gingivectomy or flap surgery, which involve removing or reshaping gum tissue to expose and clean the affected teeth and underlying structures.

In summary, traditional teeth cleaning or prophylaxis is a preventive measure, while periodontal therapy is a treatment for gum disease. Prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure while periodontal therapy is intended to address deeper issue. The latter require more advanced cleaning method, instruments and surgical procedures.