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Prophylaxis Specialist

Post Oak Dental

Cosmetic & General Dentists located in Houston, TX

To maintain good oral health, you need prophylaxis, or a professional dental cleaning, at least twice a year. If you’re due for a cleaning, book your proactive prophylaxis appointment at Post Oak Dental, located in Houston, Texas and led by J. Chris Gowan, DDS, PA. The team at Post Oak Dental is passionate about preventive care. To book your prophylaxis appointment, reach out online or over the phone today.

Prophylaxis Q & A

What is prophylaxis?

In dentistry, the term prophylaxis refers to the professional deep cleaning of your teeth. In most cases, to help your teeth and gums stay healthy, you need to see the dentist once every six months for prophylaxis. People with gum disease may need to schedule up to four cleanings a year.

At Post Oak Dental, dental cleanings take about an hour to complete. The goal of dental cleanings is to prevent excessive plaque buildup that leads to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. 

What happens during a prophylaxis appointment?

During a prophylaxis appointment, your Post Oak Dental team starts by examining your visible teeth and gums and then probing your gum tissue to measure its depth. Next, they perform a procedure known as root and scaling.


During scaling, your team scrapes off all the plaque and tartar above and below your gum line. Next, they clean out the pockets of space between your teeth and gums, called periodontal pockets. 

Your team completes this task using an ultrasonic scaler, which is more gentle and efficient than a traditional metal scaler. 

Root planing

During root planing, your dentist uses the scaler tool to clean the surface of your tooth roots. As they remove plaque and tartar, they smooth your tooth roots. This makes it easier for your gums to reattach to the tooth roots after your procedure.

After root planing, your team polishes your teeth using a high-powered electric tool and gritty toothpaste. Finally, they floss your teeth. If you’re prone to cavities, the practice may also recommend a fluoride treatment.

Why is prophylaxis important?

Prophylaxis is an essential element of preventive dental care. Furthermore, because oral health affects every part of the body, prophylaxis is also an important preventive care element for your overall health. 

Prophylaxis allows the team to remove tartar from your teeth. Tartar is a crystallized material that develops on your teeth when plaque mixes with minerals in the saliva. 

You can’t remove tartar without a professional cleaning. This is a danger to health because left alone, tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

By taking the proactive step of scheduling a prophylaxis appointment, you prevent tooth decay and gum disease and also catch potential oral issues early and correct them. 

Don’t neglect your oral health. Instead, book your appointment for prophylaxis at Post Oak Dental online or over the phone today.