Dental cleaning or Prophy: 

Dental cleaning or Prophy is when the dentist or Hygenist removes the plaque, tarter, and calculus subgingivally ( below the gum ) and from your teeth. When you go to the dentist for routine Dental cleaning or Prophy, once the dentist or Hygienist removes the plaque, tarter from your teeth, he actually prevents cavities, gingivitis ( gum irritation, redness, and puffiness) to improve your dental hygiene, and preventing Periodontal disease. Dental Hygienist measures the gum pockets around your teeth, to assess the type of dental cleaning that you need; then uses scalers and ultrasonic with medication, and laser to clean around your gums and teeth. You will be put under a custom Recall maintenance to keep track of your gums health. Keeping your dental health, requires brushing, flossing, and mouth washes.

There are basically three types of cleaning depending on the periodontal pocket depths, bone loss, and the amount of tarter:

  • Regular dental cleaning / prophy: when patients with no problems; 1-2 mm of gum pockets; no bone loss.
  • Full mouth debridement: when patient has gingivitis ( gum redness, and puffiness ); no bone loss; but moderate tarter and plaque around the gums.
  • Scaling and root planning ( SRP ): also called deep cleaning is when patient has early to moderate bone loss, no mobility, moderate plaque and tarter; gum pockets 3-5 mm. If the pockets are 6 and more mm, mobility, with lots of buildup, those teeth are probably hopeless, and needs to be pulled out.
  • Depending on the severity of your gum problems, the hygienist will put you on the 3,4; or six months recall appointment.


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Please click below to Read Dr. Shojania’s answers to your frequently asked Questions regarding Dental cleaning or Prophy: