What is a Dental Prophylaxis?
A dental prophylaxis is a teeth cleaning under anesthesia. A dental prophylaxis is most effective when it is used as a preventative measure. Once periodontal disease reaches Stage III, it can no longer be cured, only treated.
7 Steps to a Dental Prophy:
1. ORAL EXAMINATION: Examine facial symmetry, lymph nodes, check for pain, discoloration, swelling, fractures & pathology. Examine hard palate, tonsils & tongue. Examination is thorough under anesthesia. Radiographs are taken of every tooth to evaluate all of the parts under the gum line!
2. DENTAL RADIOGRAPHS: Radiographs are taken of each individual tooth examining the roots and other structures that cannot be seen.
3. SUPRAGINGIVAL/GROSS SCALING: Using an ultrasonic scaler, the tartar & calculus is removed from the crowns of the teeth.
4. ROOT PLANING: A hand curette is used to remove deposits below the gum line. Subgingival curettage is performed in advanced cases of periodontal disease allowing for reattachment of gingiva by using a blade to remove diseased tissue.
5. POLISHING: A semi-coarse polish is used to remove scratches in the enamel that attract plaque. This is an essential part of the prophy.
6. RINSE: Flushing the mouth removes bacteria and debris that was removed during the prophylaxis.
7. FLUORIDE TREATMENT: Fluoride aids plaque prevention. It is applied directly to dry teeth and free gingiva for approximately 4 minutes.
Benefits of a Dental Prophy:
- Prevention of systemic infection, pain, tooth loss, & bad breath.
- Your pet may ultimately have a longer, healthier life.