What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a professional dental cleaning designed to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup that can cause or worsen periodontal disease. It’s an essential treatment for people who have already undergone periodontal therapy and have a history of gum disease.
Appointments for periodontal maintenance are typically scheduled every three to four months, depending on the patient’s condition of their gum health and the recommendation of their dentist or periodontist.
Benefits of a Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning
There are many benefits to periodontal maintenance, including:
- Prevents gum disease from progressing: Regular maintenance helps remove bacteria and plaque buildup, preventing periodontal disease from worsening.
- Prevents tooth loss: Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Regular maintenance appointments can help prevent this from happening.
- Maintains oral health: Periodontal maintenance helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and can prevent other oral health problems, such as cavities and bad breath.
- Helps detect other health problems: Your dentist or periodontist may be able to detect other health problems during your maintenance appointments, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Who Needs Periodontal Dental Cleanings?
Anyone who has had periodontal disease in the past and has undergone periodontal therapy is a candidate. You may also benefit from periodontal maintenance if you:
- Have a family history of gum disease
- You have receding gums or exposed root surfaces
- Have diabetes
- Are pregnant and may be at a higher risk for gum disease
The Periodontal Dental Cleaning Process
The periodontal cleaning process is similar to regular cleanings. Here’s what to expect:
- Evaluation: Your dentist will evaluate your gum health and determine if further treatment is needed.
- Scaling and Root Planing: If necessary, your dental hygienist will perform scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gum line and smoothing out the tooth roots to prevent bacteria from sticking to them.
- Polishing: After scaling and root planing, your dental hygienist will polish your teeth to remove any remaining stains or plaque.
- Oral Hygiene Education: Your dental hygienist will provide oral hygiene education and tips to help you maintain good oral health at home.
- Follow-up: Your dentist or periodontist will schedule your next appointment, typically three to four months later.
Costs of Periodontal Maintenance
The cost of periodontal maintenance cleanings varies depending on the location, the dentist or periodontist, and your insurance coverage. In general, it’s more expensive than a regular cleaning, but most dental insurance plans cover all or a portion of the costs. Patients should check with their insurance provider to confirm coverage and out-of-pocket costs. Ask your dentist if they have any special discounts or provide financing options.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need periodontal maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance appointments are typically scheduled every three to four months, depending on the recommendation of your dentist or periodontist and your individual needs.
Can periodontal maintenance cure gum disease?
Periodontal maintenance isn’t a cure for gum disease, but it can help manage and control the progression of the disease. Consistent and proper oral hygiene habits, along with regular periodontal maintenance appointments, can help keep periodontal disease under control.
How can I prevent periodontal disease from developing?
You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. You should also avoid smoking or using tobacco products, maintain a healthy diet, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Does a periodontal cleaning hurt?
No, periodontal cleanings won’t cause any pain. They’re performed under a local anesthetic to ensure the patient’s comfort. It’s common to experience tender or swollen gums for a few hours after the treatment.
Protect Your Gums
Periodontal maintenance is a critical preventive treatment that can help manage and control the progression of gum disease. You should schedule a periodontal maintenance appointment with your dentist if you have a history of gum disease or are at risk for developing gum disease. Our Staten Island dentist is willing to help you get the dental care you need, schedule now!
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