Also known as dental prophylaxis, a prophy is a regularly scheduled dental cleaning to help you maintain optimal oral hygiene. By having these regularly scheduled cleanings, we ensure that your teeth are in tip-top shape as well as remove any plaque or tartar buildup. When you brush and floss your teeth, you are working to remove plaque, but despite our best efforts, sometimes plaque builds up in hard to reach places. When the plaque on teeth isn’t properly removed, it hardens and turns into tartar.
During your prophy cleaning, a hygienist will begin by conducting a visual exam of your gums and teeth. By using a small mirror, they will check for inflamed gums, cavities, or other potential dental issues before getting started with the prophy procedure. If your hygienist finds anything that may be a concern, they will have the dentist come by to confirm the diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.
For your cleaning, the hygienist will use the mirror to inspect each of your teeth then use a scaling tool to clean your teeth one by one. We recommend regular cleanings for patients who have a generally healthy mouth and gums which provides a thorough cleaning that can’t be done at home. With the use of the scaling tool, we easily remove plaque and scrape away any tartar from your teeth. After the hygienist visibly cleans each tooth, we may use other tools and techniques to continue cleaning between your teeth and under the gums to remove additional buildup. A prophy is not painful but may be discomforting to some patients due to the scraping that’s required to effectively complete the procedure.
At Unverferth Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing best-in-class dental services to ensure your oral hygiene is the best it can be.