Periodontal Maintenance Program
Home care is an extremely important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but even excellent home care cannot prevent bacteria and plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden, becoming calculus. We will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform an oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.
During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontal Maintenance
Why do I need periodontal maintenance?
Your dentist may recommend periodontal maintenance if you have a history of gum disease or you are at a higher risk for developing gum disease. Studies have found a correlation between gum disease and diabetes, meaning that one could be a risk factor for the other. Heart disease is also related to gum disease, making you an ideal candidate for our periodontal maintenance program.
How often are periodontal maintenance appointments?
Routine dental appointments every 6 months may not be frequent enough to keep plaque from forming on your teeth. Your dentist may recommend cleanings more often, such as every 3 months, to remove plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease developing. Your dentist will determine the best timing for your periodontal maintenance visits.
Does insurance cover periodontal maintenance?
Most basic dental insurance plans only cover two dental cleanings per year. However, some plans may cover additional periodontal maintenance if it is necessary for your oral health. Contact your dental insurance provider to determine what is covered by your current plan.
What can I do to prevent the need for periodontal maintenance?
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will go a long way toward removing plaque and potentially reduce calculus from forming. You can also reduce your consumption of sugary foods and beverages that stick to the teeth and feed plaque bacteria.
What is scaling and root planing?
Two procedures that are often included in periodontal maintenance are scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of plaque from under the gums and root planing involves smoothing out the surface of the teeth and roots under the gums to reduce the amount of plaque forming.