Once Dr. Goggin has treated your periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance will enable you to take control of the disease and increase your chances of keeping your teeth as they are. Periodontal maintenance will protect the foundation for good oral health which includes the gums, bone, and roots of teeth.
Periodontal disease can easily recur. The bacteria that caused the infection are still present in your mouth and are always ready to attach the teeth, bone, and gum tissues. Maintenance therapy is an absolute necessity to insure that the periodontal infection does not reactivate. For most people, maintenance therapy should occur every 3-4 months, and is an extension of active periodontal treatment. This means that every 3 months, you will be seen by your dentist or Dr. Goggin to protect your oral health and investment. Your recall protocol will be assessed by Dr. Goggin and your dentist to suit your individual periodontal needs.
What is included in a periodontal maintenance visit?
- Discussion of changes to health history
- Oral examination looking for any abnormal changes
- Measuring depths of pockets
- Cleaning teeth to thoroughly remove bacterial plaque and calculus
- Taking any necessary x-rays to evaluate bone levels around teeth
- Examining teeth for decay
- Checking the way your teeth fit together (occlusion)
- During your visit, your dentist or Dr. Goggin will review your home hygiene routine and both may suggest changes to the protocol. If periodontal disease recurs, then additional treatment may be recommended.
Periodontal maintenance visits will protect your investment and keep your dental costs down by preventing future problems. Gum disease is more than just gums. A commitment to SPT is your commitment to better overall health!
Your immune response, genetic predisposition, medical status and tobacco use contribute to your periodontal health status and risk for recurrence. It is because of these factors that periodontal disease is not curable. However, in most cases, it is controllable, and this is why close monitoring with maintenance therapy is so important. Everyone responds differently to treatment. Factors to determine your follow-up care include:
- Clinical signs of control of infection
- Degree of residual pocket depth and bone loss
- Effectiveness of bacterial plaque control
- Individual susceptibility, immune system response
- Health, medications, age, and other risk factors including smoking, diet, and nutrition
Why should you have periodontal maintenance instead of prophylaxis?
A prophy and a periodontal maintenance are very different procedures for very different patient types that should be thoroughly understood so the appropriate procedure is provided. Failure to do so can prevent optimal treatment outcomes and reduce the longevity of favorable results.
A prophylaxis is the type of cleaning that many people have every 6 months. This type of cleaning is meant to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. It is primarily a supra-gingival (above the gum line) procedure for patients without periodontitis. It includes the removal of plaque, tartar, and stains from above the gums and polishing the teeth. This type of cleaning is helpful for people who have gingivitis (mild inflammation of the gums due to plaque buildup), but does little to help those who have active periodontal disease.
Periodontal Maintenance (PM) is a type of personalized patient care that occurs every 3-4 months. PM is most commonly utilized for patients who have had active periodontal treatment. It includes removal of bacterial plaque and tartar from above and beneath the gums, site specific scaling and root planing where indicated, and polishing the teeth. PM is ongoing treatment for periodontitis, which is a chronic and non-curable bacterial infection. The objective of periodontal maintenance is to keep the disease under control. Any type of periodontal treatment is not effective in the long term without an effective maintenance regimen. The dental hygienist determines changes made to your gum attachment depths and may provide you with antimicrobial therapy as needed. The hygienist also evaluates your home care and gives you suggestions of tools or techniques if improvement is needed. The increased attention to periodontal disease control that is evident in a periodontal maintenance appointment is meant to help you retain the health of your teeth and gums for a lifetime.
Research has shows that patients who undergo active perio treatment of any kid, surgical or non-surgical, and so not have periodontal maintenance at the appropriate interval lose two to three times more teeth and have active perio therapy twice as often as those having maintenance.