Teeth Cleaning and Sealants
Adult and Children Prophylaxis (commonly known as Teeth Cleaning)
Teeth Cleaning (also known as Prophylaxis) is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth free of dental problems. Some of these dental problems include common dental cavities, gingivitis, periodontal (or gum) disease and bad breath. People routinely clean their own teeth by brushing and flossing. However, to have a complete teeth cleaning that can remove hardened deposits of plaque, tarter, and calculus, and evaluate for periodontal disease it is essential to see a licensed dental professional, most commonly a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH).
How often should I schedule a teeth cleaning?
Most Dental Hygienists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned every six months. More frequent cleaning and examination may be necessary during treatment of dental and other oral disorders. A routine periodic examination is performed by Dr. Knight following each teeth cleaning. Laser treatments, Dental X-rays, and Fluoride treatments may be recommended.
Teeth Cleaning Overview
At your Prophylaxis appointment a dental assistant may take any of several kinds of dental X-rays as ordered by Dr. Knight. Your Dental Hygienist will give you a professional cleaning including tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and debridement if too much tarter has accumulated. Evaluation of gum disease will be done with a dental probe to determine the “pocket” depths. Sealants (usually bonded to new molars and pre-molars) and then a fluoride treatment follows the cleaning. Dr. Knight will review the dental X-rays at the time he performs the periodic exam. The X-rays will be able to tell him if there are additional dental problems he cannot see in the tissues or between the teeth.
Dental sealants are a treatment consisting of applying a plastic coating to one or more teeth, for the intended purpose of preventing cavities or other forms of tooth decay. Because the teeth in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) have numerous pits and fissures on their biting surfaces, certain areas of these teeth are often difficult to clean even with tooth-brushing. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves. Dental sealants block food from being trapped, prevents any carbohydrate like sugar being changed to acid by resident plaque bacteria, and helps to prevent demineralization and the decay process.
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old and the second molars appear at about the age of 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth erupt, before they have a chance to decay. Sealants should be checked at each regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.
Phone Number: 801.731.3200