Once periodontal disease has been controlled, patients will require on-going periodontal maintenance procedures to sustain optimal levels of health. This indefinite phase of care will allow your periodontist and periodontal hygienist to assess your periodontal health and make sure that your infection stays under control or remains eliminated. During these maintenance appointments, your mouth will be examined, new calculus (tartar) and plaque will be removed and, if necessary, your teeth will be polished and your bite might be checked. This new cleaning regimen often occurs at 3 month intervals (4 times/year) as opposed to standard 6 month intervals (2 times/year). Periodontal disease is chronic in nature, just like diabetes. Without careful, on-going treatment, periodontal disease can and often will recur. In the event that periodontal disease does begin to recur, your periodontist may make the decision and recommendation to move back into an Active Therapy mode of care to re-control the disease process.
It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not properly removed from your teeth to begin to turn into calculus (tartar). Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will at times include:
Examination of routine diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and progressive bone loss.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Oral hygiene instruction and recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control.