Prophylaxis is a term used to describe a preventative dental procedure, such as teeth cleaning performed by a hygienist. Every three to six months, a hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that builds up no matter how good your oral hygiene routine is.
The teeth cleaning procedure uses a technique called scaling that removes plaque from above and below the gumline.
Tartar is also removed. This part of the procedure is necessary to help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The hygienist then uses a polishing agent that not only cleans your teeth, but brightens your smile.
If too much tartar has built up, then a procedure called debridement is used to remove it. Hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler are often used for this procedure.
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