Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

Periodontal Maintenance Video:

Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing specialized program of care for patients who have been previously diagnosed and treated for periodontal disease to keep the gums and bone healthy and free of inflammation-causing bacteria.

The harmful bacteria that cause gum disease continue to build deep in the pockets between your gums and teeth even after initial treatment, often taking only three to four months to return to a damaging level. Because of this, periodontal maintenance therapy is typically done at three to four-month intervals to stay ahead of it.

During these visits, your doctor or hygienist will examine the health of your gum tissue by probing the depth of the gingival pockets and possibly also using X-rays to check the health of the supporting bone. They will then perform a deep cleaning of the teeth beneath the gum line and deep into the pockets, removing any plaque and bacteria buildup that has occurred since the last visit. Any uneven surface areas of the teeth will be smoothed out to discourage additional bacteria from attaching.

Given that there is no cure for periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance therapy is crucial to prevent it from worsening and causing additional complications for your oral and systemic health. Your doctor will work with you to create a maintenance schedule that best suits your unique needs.

If you have been diagnosed and treated for periodontal disease, Drs. Lepore and Dougherty at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry in Dunedin, Florida, will recommend periodontal maintenance therapy to keep the condition under control (maintained). Some crucial differences between this and routine dental cleaning are important to understand.

A routine dental cleaning (prophy) is designed for prevention. It is not therapeutic. Our practice also refers to it as “healthy mouth cleaning.” Its purpose is to help keep gum disease and tooth decay from developing. A healthy mouth cleaning typically takes place every six months. However, more frequent cleanings are beneficial.

However, periodontal maintenance therapy is meant for treating patients who’ve already been diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease to control and prevent it from worsening. This type of cleaning is typically recommended every three to four months for those who have undergone scaling and root planing, also called deep cleaning.

What is a periodontal maintenance cleaning?

A periodontal maintenance cleaning involves your dental hygienist performing a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line, removing harmful plaque and bacterial buildup that has occurred since your last visit. Soft, sticky plaque takes about 12 days to turn into the calculus that builds up above and below your gum tissue.

The benefits of a periodontal maintenance cleaning include fresher breath, plaque and calculus removal, and a healthier-looking and feeling smile!

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If you have been diagnosed and treated for periodontal disease, your doctor may recommend what is called periodontal maintenance therapy to keep the disease under control. There are some important differences between this and a routine dental cleaning that are important to understand.

A routine dental cleaning is designed for prevention - meaning its purpose is to keep gum disease and tooth decay from developing. It involves your hygienist cleaning your teeth above the gum line - removing plaque, calculus, and stains, as well as polishing them. This usually takes place every six months. On the other hand, periodontal maintenance therapy is meant for treating patients who've already been diagnosed with gum disease to control it and prevent it from worsening. It involves your doctor or hygienist performing a deep cleaning of the teeth beneath the gum line and deep into the pockets, removing any harmful plaque and bacteria buildup that has occurred since the last visit. Any uneven surface areas of the teeth will be smoothed out to discourage additional bacteria from attaching. To keep up with the pace of bacterial growth, this usually takes place every three to four months.

Given that there is no cure for periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance therapy is crucial to prevent it from worsening and causing additional complications to your oral and systemic health. Your doctor will work with you to create a maintenance schedule that best suits your unique needs.

Is there a cure for gum disease?

The most crucial part of any periodontal therapy, such as deep cleaning, is the continued maintenance visits to prevent the disease from returning to an “active state.” It is often misunderstood that periodontal disease can be “cured.” It is often compared to diabetes. Both can be improved and maintained but never cured. Missing regularly scheduled periodontal maintenance appointments can put you at risk for further bone loss, gum loss, and inflammation, not only in the mouth but the rest of your body. Drs. Lepore and Dougherty, alongside your dental hygienist, will work with you to create a maintenance schedule that best suits your unique needs.

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Our Dental Savings Plans

Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry believes that everyone should have access to high-quality dental care and that financial constraints or insurance status shouldn’t stand in the way for anyone to receive such care. That’s why we have introduced Dental Savings Plans as we don’t want you to compromise on your dental health. We have two plans – Standard and Wellness - offered at an annual membership fee of $429 and $729 respectively.

Membership will entitle you to a host of benefits including free and discounted treatments with a focus on your overall health.

Review by Jeanne M.

Just had a great dental cleaning at Lepore Dentistry. All the covid precautions in place AND it was the most gentle cleaning ever. I almost fell asleep!

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