Periodontal maintenance is a specialized type of teeth cleaning that works to address the needs of patients with previous cases of periodontitis. Although periodontal maintenance is similar to teeth cleaning, there is one main difference. During prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning, plaque is only removed from above the gum line. In patients with previous instances of periodontitis, this can be problematic because it allows plaque below the gum line to continue to grow and irritate the gums. Thus, periodontal maintenance procedures remove plaque from both above and below the gum line to prevent excess plaque and bacteria build up.
Did you know…
There is no permanent cure for periodontitis? Instead, it must be carefully regulated through treatment to prevent it from advancing. Periodontal maintenance is the most effective way to stop the progression of periodontal disease and prevent adverse effects such as bone, tissue, or tooth loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Periodontal Maintenance?
Individuals who have bone loss, pockets deeper than 4mm, bleeding gums, or exposed roots should not undergo a regular tooth cleaning and should instead go for periodontal maintenance. Also, individuals who have had periodontal surgery, root planning to treat periodontal surgery, or root planning to treat periodontal disease, then periodontal maintenance is highly recommended.
What Should I Expect During a Periodontal Maintenance Procedure?
Periodontal maintenance procedures are very similar to teeth cleanings, however, they have a different focus and surpass simply cleaning the crown. Periodontal maintenance begins with periodontal scaling to remove plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. During the scaling process, special care is taken to ensure all rough areas are smoothed out in order to discourage future plaque build up. Finally, pocket depths are measured and assessed, and inflamed pockets are treated accordingly.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Since periodontitis does not have a cure, you will have to continue periodontal maintenance indefinitely to properly regulate this disease and prevent it from progressing. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment for periodontal maintenance approximately every three months because this the amount of time it takes for the bacteria to build up without becoming pathogenic. If you wait too long, the bacteria will become pathogenic and could cause the disease to begin progressing. Most insurance companies provide coverage on periodontal maintenance procedures since they are an essential part of regulating dental disease.