It only takes 24 hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into 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, it will be recommended that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually three to four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to insure that they are healthy.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, maintenance visits will also include:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) – Updated dental x-rays of diagnostic quality are essential for the detection of cavities, periodontal bone loss, and various other dental pathologies. The frequency of obtaining x-rays will heavily depend upon each patient’s overall dental condition.
Examination of existing restorations and tooth decay – During maintenance visits, all teeth will be checked for defective restorations and the presence of new decay. If restorative or prosthetic issues are detected, patients will be referred to their restorative dentist for proper treatment.
Oral cancer screening – All patients will undergo a cancer screening of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gingival tissue.
Oral hygiene recommendations – During maintenance visits, the patient’s ability to adequately remove plaque throughout their dentition will be evaluated. Patients will be educated and motivated to effectively remove the plaque, which forms on a daily basis.
Teeth polishing – The removal of stain that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling will also be removed during a maintenance visit.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control. The literature clearly states that even patients with advanced periodontal breakdown can maintain their teeth for decades with a strong commitment to maintenance care.