The American Dental Association describes periodontal maintenance as a procedure instituted after periodontal therapy with the intervals determined by the clinical evaluation of the dentist for the life of the dentition or any implant. It includes the removal of plaque and calculus from the supragingival and subgingival regions.
A periodontal maintenance procedure is not the same treatment as regular cleaning even though the hygienist may perform both services. A periodontal procedure may include:
- An update of your medical and dental histories
- Xray review
- Mouth/Face exam inside and outside including lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and throat;
- Periodontal exam-probing around each tooth to check for bone loss;
- Review of home care;
- Scaling and root planing, as needed;
- Ultrasonic scaling with an antimicrobial agent to eliminate the pathogens that cause bone loss;
- Polishing teeth, as needed; and
- Pocket irrigation with medicine, as needed.
Typically, an interval of three to four months between appointments is effective in maintaining your periodontal health. As in many other chronic conditions, successful long term control of the disease and prevention of tooth loss depends on continual, and possibly life-time maintenance.