When deep “pockets” between teeth and gums are present, it is almost impossible for the patient to thoroughly remove all plaque. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets completely clean.
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical periodontal therapy that primarily involves removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) deposits beneath the gum line. This is done typically with an ultrasonic scaler and/ or hand scalers (Curretts). The tooth roots also are planed and smoothed allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or prescription mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria (plaque) that create toxins, form calculus and cause periodontitis (gum disease).
Periodontal maintenance follows at an interval appropriate for your condition; these are periodontal “cleanings” to maintain the improved results of your treatment.
After completing periodontal therapy, your condition has been arrested, but not cured. Periodontal disease is a chronic disease, much like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which requires constant monitoring to ensure that your disease remains controlled.
Most treated periodontal patients require more frequent cleanings, approximately every three or four months, rather than traditional six month cleanings, since they are more susceptible to periodontal disease.
During your periodontal maintenance visit, your periodontal status is closely monitored for changes. At times, interceptive periodontal procedures are initiated to treat any sites or pockets that demonstrate significant signs of disease activity. In this way, further bone and gum support loss can be prevented.
We firmly believe that preventive dentistry is the best dentistry.