Periodontal disease is an oral health condition that is chronic in duration and inherently complex. That means that the disease is influenced by factors that are often difficult to control and its consequences tend to linger for many years.
Whether periodontal disease has been caused by a bacterial infection, an injury, or a condition that was present at birth, its treatment and management requires a 3-phase strategy:
- Active Treatment- Professional surgical or non-surgical periodontal therapy
- Daily Homecare- Diligent plaque control, nutrition, management of other chronic health conditions, and the prevention of accidental injuries.
- Periodontal Maintenance- Regularly scheduled follow-up appointments (every 3, 4, or 6 months) with the periodontist and dental hygienist.
Ongoing Periodontal Treatment, Including after Periodontal Surgery
A successful outcome of any periodontal therapy demands regular maintenance and professional monitoring. After your periodontal treatment has been performed, you will not resume the “regular cleanings” of the past. Instead, your periodontal cleaning will be carefully tailored to manage your specific periodontal needs. Periodontal probing will be performed to evaluate previously-diagnosed periodontal pockets and to identify new pockets, surgical sites will be evaluated for healing, and accumulated plaque or tarter will be removed from your teeth and/or dental implants.
Further increasing the value and importance of periodontal maintenance, your visits will include one or more of the following:
- Periodic digital x-rays in order to assess bone levels, root structures, tooth decay, and existing dental restorations.
- A clinical examination of the teeth, gums, dental fillings, crowns, and implants.
- Oral cancer screening of the head, neck, face, and mouth
- Personalized oral hygiene instructions and guidance regarding the recommended toothbrushes, mouth rinses, and other oral hygiene products.
- Teeth polishing and flossing to remove all remaining plaque and stain
A Plan for Long-term Success
With careful planning and a cooperative relationship between the patient and the dental team, these customized visits are ideal for monitoring your recovery after periodontal surgery, helping to prevent future destruction, and fine-tuning your homecare routine. While periodontal disease can sometimes be treated in a single dental visit, remember that true success can only be achieved when you make a firm commitment to ongoing follow-up care with your periodontist.
Learn more about the periodontal maintenance regimen that is right for you by calling to schedule an appointment today.