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Prophy? What’s that?

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Dentistry

A prophy is often called a “teeth cleaning,” but I’m afraid that description doesn’t quite do justice to what is included in a routine prophy. A better description is “periodontal therapy”, but even that may still leave you asking, “What?”

During a prophy, the heavy layers of tartar and calculus are removed from the tooth using an ultrasonic scaler (what human oral hygenists use). Most importantly, the sub-gingival (“under” the gums) tooth is also cleaned, which you simply can’t achieve on an awake patient.

We then chart the teeth. This is a very important step. Charting measures any pockets between the tooth and gums and allows us to make note of any chipped enamel, mobile teeth, gingivitis, oral masses, or any other potential areas of concern. Because this step can be time-consuming, many vet clinics opt not to do this (or they don’t do a thorough job), but we feel it’s one of the most valuable parts of the process.

Lastly, we rinse the mouth with fluoride and apply Ora-Vet. The Ora-Vet binds to the tooth and prevents tartar and bacteria from binding to it, so we can keep the teeth pearly white for even longer. We recommend that you continue applying the Ora-Vet weekly to help keep the teeth clean. It’s easy to apply and takes less than a minute.

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