You most likely already know that regular cleanings are an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing serious issues such as gum disease. However, even with the best care, gum disease can still develop. Moreover, when it does, your oral care needs change. This includes how your cleanings are done. At Advanced Dental Associates we can help patients with gum disease maintain a healthy mouth with periodontal maintenance.
How Do I Know if I Need Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is type of dental cleaning that is different from your standard regular cleanings, or prophylaxis. If you are recommended periodontal maintenance, it is because you have been diagnosed with, and may have already received treatment for, gum disease. You may have undergone scaling and root planing or have received flap or pocket reduction surgery. The goal of these cleanings is to help improve your oral health and make sure it remains stable, preventing the condition from taking over your mouth and possibly claiming your teeth.
Why Can’t I Just Have a Regular Cleaning?
Regular dental cleanings, which are performed every six months, are meant for those who are in generally good overall dental health. With these cleanings, only the crown surfaces of your teeth are cleaned. However, with periodontal maintenance cleanings, we clean the crown surfaces of your teeth as well as the surfaces of their roots. These treatments are done to eliminate all buildup above and below your gums, smoothing the surfaces of your teeth so that your soft tissues can begin to reattach. As the tissue reattaches, the pocket depths between your gums and teeth become shallower. In doing so, the roots of your teeth and your jawbone are protected.
Another major difference between regular cleanings and periodontal maintenance cleanings is their frequency. In most cases, routine cleanings are done every six months. When it comes to periodontal maintenance, cleanings are done more frequently. As your condition improves, the time between your cleanings may become longer, but they will never be spaced out any farther apart than every six months.
What if My Condition is Stable?
Even if your gum disease has been controlled and your condition is stable, you may still require periodontal maintenance. These cleanings may be six months apart, but they are still periodontal maintenance as opposed to standard prophylaxis. This is because once gum disease occurs, except gingivitis, it does not ever truly go away. For this reason, periodontal maintenance visits are crucial for keeping your gum disease under control, maintaining your oral health, and preventing the condition from taking over your mouth again.
Is Periodontal Maintenance Billed Differently?
Yes, a periodontal maintenance cleaning is billed differently than standard cleaning. Your insurance may have different coverages when it comes to periodontal maintenance. Where it may completely cover a standard cleaning, it may only cover a part of a periodontal maintenance cleaning. If you are unsure of your particular policy, you can always contact your dental insurance provider for more information.
If you have been diagnosed with and treated for, gum disease, periodontal maintenance can help you to improve and maintain your oral health. For more information, call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 714-5589 today.