Periodontal maintenance is a term used to describe coming to see your periodontist, or dentist, for a periodontal cleaning. Once it is determined that your bone and gums are at a healthy state, periodontal maintenance is recommended. There are two types of patients who require periodontal maintenance.
1. Patients who have completed previous periodontal therapy (including scaling and root planning and possible surgical therapy to reduce their periodontal pockets)
- These patients have a known history of periodontitis and need to be followed closely, having their teeth cleaned and pockets checked regularly by a dental professional
2. Patients who accumulate plaque and calculus more rapidly than normal
- These patients typically have good home care and are proactive, coming in for regular maintenance to minimize the risk of their condition escalating to require active periodontal therapy
Periodontal maintenance appointments are typically scheduled for one hour. During the appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and measurements will be taken. Digital radiographs (“x-rays”) may be recommended at certain maintenance appointments to evaluate your bone levels and ensure that the disease is remaining dormant.
It is up to you to schedule regular periodontal maintenance appointments. The frequency of these visits will be determined by your periodontist and dentist. For most patients with advanced disease, three month maintenance appointments are crucial to maintaining periodontal health.
Thus, you can see that working in partnership with your periodontist there are several things YOU can do to help reach your goal of healthy gums for a lifetime.