Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning)
A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums.
Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease. The benefits include: * Plaque removal: Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
* A healthier looking smile: Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
* Fresher breath: Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection. Prophylaxis can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools Dr. McKay can use to effectively halt its progression.
Oral Cancer Screening
Dr. McKay recommends an oral exam during your routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. During an oral exam, his dental team looks over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Using gloved hands they also feels the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, with the great majority being noncancerous. An oral exam can't determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. If Dr. McKay finds an unusual sore, you may go through further testing to determine its cause. The only way to definitively determine whether you have oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy.