It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth 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.
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
You may find that at your first periodontal maintenance appointment (3 months after NSPT) that all areas may not have completely healed. At this time we will place a localized antibiotic, called Arestin, in the pocket to kill any bacteria we were not able to remove. ARESTIN® contains microspheres, tiny particles, which are smaller than grains of sand and are not visible to the eye. The microspheres are filled with the antibiotic minocycline hydrochloride. These microspheres release the antibiotic over time, killing bacteria so your gums can hopefully, heal completely.
After you have successfully completed NSPT, regular 3 month periodontal maintenance appointments, and the placement of Arestin for a full year, we will then decide if laser perio is necessary. Laser perio is a great tool to use when certain areas are not healing like we want them to. This process is a minimally invasive therapy for moderate to advanced gum disease that promotes re-attachment to the root surface of the tooth. Most periodontal lasers cut tissue using heat, ours uses laser energy and a patented spray of water to cut soft tissue and bone without heat. The benefits reported are less swelling and patient post-op sensitivity, for a better patient experience. This process takes about 20 minutes to complete and with very little healing time.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!