Your smile gets a “clean slate” with routine professional dental cleanings at our office every six months!

“Prophylaxis” is a mouthful; however, the word simply refers to preventative services. In the dental world, the “prophy” (as we call it for short) is professional cleaning. Cleanings at Advance Dental Arts Center in West Linn, Oregon, are generally scheduled every six months. They are combined with dental exams by our dentist, Dr. Kimberly Wright. These routine visits or dental check-ups are fundamental to protecting the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth and allow us to be preventive with your oral health.

Prophy: What to expect

During your visit, one of our skilled and knowledgeable dental hygienists will gently remove bacteria, plaque, tartar, and surface stains from above the gum line. They use specialized dental instruments to do so thoroughly and comfortably.

Plaque is constantly forming on the teeth. It feeds on lingering food particles and harmful oral bacteria. Plaque erodes the teeth and releases toxins that break down the gums and the supportive bone (if gum disease is allowed to progress). Tartar (or calculus) is calcified plaque build-up. It is incredibly stubborn and can only be removed by dental professionals with the right instruments and know-how to do so.

Our hygienists also use specialized dental tools to measure the spaces or pockets between the teeth and gums. Periodontal pockets are indicative of gum disease. Large periodontal pockets are correlated with more severe or later-stage gum disease.

Patients also love how fresh their mouths feel, how nice their breath smells, and how white their teeth look after a good cleaning and polishing!

Cleanings also usually precede the oral exam. Our team can provide guidance on oral care products and techniques during these regular appointments. So, patients can more effectively brush and floss and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Dr. Wright may integrate professional preventive services into routine check-ups; for instance, she may apply dental sealants to reduce the risk of decay forming in the back teeth (premolars and molars). 

A note on the “deep cleaning”

Another technique, known as scaling and root planing, may be appropriate for patients with existing gum disease. This non-surgical procedure involves deep cleaning bacteria, plaque, and tartar from below the gum line to resolve gum disease and encourage healing. Patients with more advanced gum disease may require surgical intervention.

Generally, though, Advance Dental Arts Center partners with patients to prevent decay, disease, and other threats to oral health with conservative measures, such as routine dental cleanings and tailored oral hygiene products and techniques for use at home. We look forward to partnering with you and your family! Call (503) 694-4776 to schedule an appointment at our practice in West Linn, which proudly serves the oral health needs of individuals and families in Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Gladstone, Milwaukee, Wilsonville, and the greater Portland area.

Dr. Kimberly Wright

Dr. Kimberly Wright

Dr. Kimberly Wright graduated from the University of Oregon and Oregon Health and Science University. She is a lifelong learner, taking over 100 hours of continuing education annually. Dr. Wright earned the prestigious Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and is a past MasterTrack Director for Oregon’s AGD, for which she had also served as past president. She was the past trustee for the Oregon Dental Association too. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Orofacial Pain, Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the American College of Dentists.