A dental prophylaxis is a professional cleaning procedure to thoroughly clean the teeth.  It is important for halting the progression of periodontal disease that occurs when bacteria from plaque colonize on the gum/gingival tissue, above and/or below the gum line.  A dental cleaning typically includes a dental exam and the following treatments:

  • Removal of plaque: A sticky, almost invisible film of food debris and saliva that forms on the teeth, generating a growing colony of living bacteria that produce toxins (poisons) that inflame and infect the gums – the beginning of periodontal disease!
  • Removal/Scaling of calculus (tartar): Hardened plaque that can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling. Smooths away rough surfaces, making it harder for plaque and bacteria to stick to the teeth.

The term prophylaxis comes from Greek, meaning “to keep guard before,” and in dentistry describes the process of protecting your teeth from disease and decay.

No matter how vigilant one is about their oral care regime, the irrepressible development of plaque, and the porous nature of teeth makes them prone to decay.  To forestall the excessive development of plaque that can result in periodontal disease, tooth decay, and gum loss, routine prophylaxis, normally every six months, is recommended for all adults and children.

If you are interested in dental cleaning (Prophylaxis) in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.