Prophylaxis vs. Scaling and Root Planing
What is a Prophylaxis vs. a Scaling and Root Planing?
A general prophylaxis, also known as a dental cleaning, involves removing hardened plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. The teeth are then polished and flossed before you’re ready to have a dental exam. A scaling and root planing is essential for patients with gum disease. The procedure involves removing debris, plaque, and bacteria from below the gum line.
When would you need a Prophylaxis?
It’s recommended that you have a general prophylaxis, or dental cleaning, once every six months. The procedure works to remove hardened plaque and tartar from the teeth, as well as stuck-on stains. A dental cleaning is done by a registered dental hygienist and takes about an hour. Dental cleanings can help to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis by removing tartar and calculus.
When would you need a Scaling and Root Planing?
A scaling and root planing is specifically geared to patients who have gum disease. The procedure involves getting deep into the pockets that have formed in the gums around the teeth as a result of periodontitis. Unlike a traditional prophylaxis, local anesthetic is required when having a scaling and root planing. You may need to have the procedure done regularly as part of your periodontal care.
What can be expected during your Prophylaxis or Scaling and Root Planing procedure?
A prophylaxis can be done in under an hour in-office, and is performed by a hygienist. The procedure involves removing hardened plaque and stains from the surfaces of the teeth. The teeth are polished and flossed before an oral examination is completed to check for any oral issues. A scaling and root planing is similar to a regular cleaning, but local anesthetic is given prior to having it done to eliminate discomfort. The procedure is done by the hygienist who works to remove debris and plaque from the gingival pockets around each tooth. Both a traditional cleaning, as well as a scaling and root planing, help to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
If you need either a prophylaxis or a scaling and root planing, call our office today and we can help to get you scheduled for an appointment.