An adult prophylaxis is commonly called a dental cleaning. It is a preventive dental service which includes scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces above the gumline. This can be performed by hand or with ultrasonic scalers depending on the hygienist’s preference and amount of debris/calculus present. This preventative procedure reduces gingivitis which is an inflammation of the gums which may cause bleeding. The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and surface stains on the teeth. This service is routinely performed every six months or as often as your hygienist/dentist feels necessary. At your routine dental cleanings you can expect to have routine dental x-rays taken once per year as well as a complete exam by the Dentist to evaluate for possible dental decay, abnormal pathology and periodontal conditions. Also, once a year, your hygienist will do a thorough periodontal evaluation (probing), which includes measuring the pocket depths of your gum tissue, bleeding points and infection. At every visit you will have a thorough oral cancer screening completed and given individual oral hygiene instructions/ demonstrations. Prophylaxis visits, for an adult, are on average about a one hour appointment and for a child are about 45 minutes.
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