Prophylaxis refers to the cleaning of teeth as a preventative measure against periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. This treatment can include plaque detection the removal of plaque and tartar in the supragingival (upper) and subgingival (lower) levels of the gum line the application of caries-preventing agents checking for signs of food impaction and the checking of restorations and prostheses.

In prophylaxis the procedures of dental scaling and dental polishing are used. Dental scaling refers to the removal of plaque and calculus from the surface of tooth within periodontal pockets or the surface coronal to the gingival margin. Dental polishing refers to process of maintaining a smooth and glossy surface finish on a denture or amalgam.

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