Teeth Polishing: Traditional vs. Prophy-Jet

Teeth Polishing: Traditional vs. Prophy-Jet

When you schedule professional dental cleanings, you expect hands-on treatment and cleaning techniques. But, what happens when dentists begin using instruments that no longer require contact with your teeth to do their job? The results may surprise you!

Today, more dentists are using Prophy-Jets, rather than traditional hand pieces to polish teeth. So, what is a Prophy-Jet and what are the benefits? Find out below!

What is a Prophy-Jet?

A Prophy-Jet is an air polishing prophylaxis system that uses air, water, and either sodium bicarbonate or a non-sodium powder to remove dental plaque, soft debris and stains whiles simultaneously polishing teeth. A Prophy-Jet is an alternative to traditional polishing equipment and differs in several ways:

  • No Contact: Traditional instruments use a rotating rubber cup to remove stains and soft deposits from teeth, whereas a Prophy-Jet sprays high-pressured water to do the same.
  • No Pastes: With a traditional polishing tool, dentists are forced to use abrasive pastes to remove stains and plaque. With a Prophy-Jet, a combination of water and baking soda is used to remove the same materials.
  • No Unnerving Noises: Traditional polishing systems make drill-like noises, causing some with dental anxiety to become uneasy. A Prophy-Jet is quieter, and is, therefore, less stress-inducing.

Benefits of the Prophy-Jet System

More and more dental practices are adopting the Prophy-Jet system over traditional methods. Key reasons for this are:

  • More Effective Cleanings: Prophy-Jets are more powerful, making it easier to remove soft deposits and stains from food, drinks, and/or smoking.
  • No Vibrations: Vibrations can be uncomfortable for patients, dentists and dental hygienists. Because Prophy-Jets don’t vibrate, patients and professionals are more comfortable during the teeth polishing procedure.
  • No Abrasive/Unpleasant Materials Used: Abrasive pastes used with traditional polishing systems can leave a sticky, unpleasant feeling and taste in patients’ mouths. A Prophy-Jet is a great alternative to eliminate these issues.

Prophy-Jets Play a Critical Role in Comprehensive Cleanings

While a Prophy-Jet on its own can’t produce the benefits of a full dental cleaning, it serves a critical role when used in combination with scaling and root planing. Typically, a Prophy-Jet is used to remove soft deposits (like plaque) from the teeth whereas scaling and root planing remove hard deposits (like calculus) from the surface of the teeth and along the gumline.

A Prophy-Jet isn’t capable of removing stains caused by genetics or trauma. However, it still helps to remove bacteria and other deposits from the mouth and keeping teeth looking great.

Additionally, a Prophy-Jet can be used to clean dental appliances like dentures, orthodontic retainers, mouthguards, and night guards. By simply bringing your appliance to the dentist, he or she can clean it for you to remove bacteria and debris you couldn’t at home.

Prophy-Jet: The Leading Alternative to Traditional Polishing

Just the sound of a traditional polishing hand piece is enough to make some apprehensive over a dental cleaning, but it doesn’t have to be this way – at least not when your dentist uses a Prophy-Jet to keep your smile looking great.

Of course, the most important thing to remember is that, Prophy-Jet or not, getting a checkup every 6 months is the best way to remove stains and keep your teeth looking great.