You might not think of dentistry when you hear the word, but “prophylactic” simply refers to something intended to prevent disease. Dental prophylaxis from the trained dental professionals at John Ravera DDS General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Newport Beach, CA helps to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral issues. It leaves your teeth bright and smooth, and your entire mouth feeling fresher.
“I brush and floss – why do I need dental prophylaxis?”
It is a common question and one that, when not answered fully so a patient understands the importance of prophylaxis, can lead to serious oral and health issues.
Bacteria are single-cell organisms called prokaryotes. Scientists estimate about a trillion strains of bacteria exist on earth. Several hundred species live in the average human mouth. A person who does not practice good oral hygiene has up to a billion individual microbes on each tooth. While some bacteria serve beneficial roles in digestive and immune systems, others are destructive, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
Bacteria build a tacky layer of plaque for protection. Brushing and flossing is essential to keep this biofilm knocked down. Otherwise, it gets thicker (thus, more resistant to home care) and hardens into tartar. This calculus requires professional teeth cleaning – it cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Plus, bacteria are microscopic. They hide and multiply in tiny crevices between teeth, evading even the most conscientious home care regimen.
Thorough yet gentle dental prophylaxis in Newport Beach, CA
Our hygiene team uses special instruments and prophy cleaning products for plaque removal and elimination of tartar. The procedure follows these basic steps:
- X-rays – Routine “bitewing” or panoramic images are recommended annually
- Physical exam – The hygienist uses a small mirror to check all sides of gums and teeth
- Removal of plaque, tartar, and stains – Teeth are cleaned with manual and ultrasonic instruments, with extra attention at the gum line and between teeth
- Polishing – Pleasant-tasking prophylaxis paste leaves teeth gleaming
- Expert flossing – Sweeps away remaining particles between teeth
- Extra helps – Freshly-cleaned teeth are most receptive to topical fluoride treatment, decay-combating sealant, and whitening; you may choose to have one of these options after the dentist completes his examination
Dr. Ravera welcomes new patients. Call 949-877-3606 to schedule oral prophylaxis and examination.