Dental prophylaxis - More than just a bright smile

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A bright smile is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a sign of good health and well-being. Dental prophylaxis and the associated professional teeth cleaning, play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy set of teeth for a lifetime. In this article we will look at dental prophylaxis, how important it is, how it is done, the cost of professional teeth cleaning and how to get reimbursed.

What is dental prophylaxis?

Dental prophylaxis is a term that refers to measures and practices to prevent tooth and gum disease. The goal of prophylaxis at the dentist’s office is to maintain oral health and prevent dental problems before they occur or worsen. Dental prophylaxis plays a critical role in promoting healthy teeth and gums throughout life. Dental prophylaxis includes the semi-annual dental check-up at the dentist’s office and professional teeth cleaning.

Why is dental prophylaxis so important?

Dental health is an integral part of our overall health. Poor oral hygiene can not only lead to unpleasant bad breath and gum disease, but also cause more serious health problems. Here are some reasons why prophylaxis at the dentist’s office is crucial:

  • Prevention of caries: Caries is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. It can be prevented by good dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
  • Healthy gums: Gum disease such as periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and is associated with heart disease and diabetes.
  • Aesthetics: Healthy teeth not only look good, but also increase self-confidence and social interaction.
  • General health: There is scientific evidence that dental problems can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Procedure of dental prophylaxis

In Germany, we are entitled to a six-monthly dental check-up from the age of 18. During this examination, you can expect a check-up of your teeth and oral cavity, tips on how to optimize your oral hygiene and information on what is better to avoid, and possibly the removal of hard plaque.

In addition to the dental check-up, professional teeth cleaning is also part of dental prophylaxis. When it comes to professional teeth cleaning, it is recommended to do it once or twice a year and have places cleaned that are difficult to get to during everyday dental care. Professional teeth cleaning is performed by the dentist or by trained practice staff. This involves removing plaque, polishing the teeth and applying a gel containing fluoride in high concentration. In addition, dental care counseling is also provided here. In concrete terms, it can look like this:

  • Medical history and examination: First, the dentist will take a medical history and examine the condition of the teeth and gums.
  • Removal of plaque and tartar: The main part of professional teeth cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.
  • Polishing: After plaque and tartar removal, teeth are polished to smooth surface irregularities and remove discoloration.
  • Fluoride treatment: In most cases, fluoride treatment can be given to strengthen the teeth and protect them from decay.

How long does a professional teeth cleaning take?

The duration of a professional teeth cleaning can vary depending on several factors, including the condition of the teeth and gums, the amount of plaque and tartar, the type of equipment used, and the individual needs of the patient. As a rule, however, professional teeth cleaning as part of dental prophylaxis takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

How long should one abstain from eating after dental cleaning?

After a professional dental cleaning, you should usually wait about 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating or drinking anything again. This gives the teeth and gums time to recover from cleaning and allows fluoride products that have been applied to exert their protective effect. During this waiting period, solid food and hot or cold drinks should be avoided. However, water can be drunk without hesitation. The dentist can give even more specific instructions on this, as the recommendations may vary depending on the type of cleaning performed and the individual situation.

Cost of professional teeth cleaning

In Germany, we are entitled to a six-monthly dental checkup from the age of 18, which is covered by the health insurance.
The situation is somewhat different with professional teeth cleaning. Professional teeth cleaning is not a compulsory benefit of the health insurance, nevertheless, many health insurance companies reimburse part of the costs of professional teeth cleaning or reward the measure as part of the bonus program. As a rule, a total of € 80 to € 120 per treatment must be expected.

The advantages of corporate health insurance

With a corporate health insurance, you can be reimbursed for the costs of professional teeth cleaning or dental prophylaxis and the costs of many other services that alleviate or prevent complaints! A clear win-win situation for employers and employees: employers benefit from healthy employees and employees from an attractive offer that covers their (treatment) costs and promotes their health. With YAS.beneFit – the benefit solution for companies – corporate health insurance is combined with a lifestyle and mental health offering, creating even more health for everyone. Learn more now!

Sources

  • WHO. Oral health. Last accessed on 02.10.2023 at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/oral-health#tab=tab_2
  • Bundesministerium für Gesundheit. Zahnvorsorgeuntersuchungen. Last accessed on 02.10.2023 at: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/zahnvorsorgeuntersuchungen.html
  • Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung. Professionelle Zahnreinigung. Last accessed on 02.10.2023 at: https://www.kzbv.de/professionelle-zahnreinigung.709.de.html#
  • Quarks. Das wissen wir über das richtige Zähneputzen. Last accessed 02.10.2023 at: https://www.quarks.de/gesundheit/das-wissen-wir-ueber-das-richtige-zaehneputzen/
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