Periodontal Maintenance | Periodontist Upper East Side

Dental prophylaxis and periodontal maintenance may sound like similar types of treatments but is that they are both very different procedures that are used to treat completely separate conditions.


What is Dental Prophylaxis?

Dental prophylaxis is a nontherapeutic procedure used to treat a healthy mouth and is for those who do not have any signs of active periodontal disease. A dental prophylaxis consists of scaling and polishing teeth and most healthy patients without any signs of disease will have a prophylaxis every six months during their regular dental checkups. It is a non-invasive procedure that simply involves your dentist or hygienist scraping away any hardened tartar from your teeth. This normally collect at the gum margins, where your gum meets the base of your teeth.

What Is Periodontal Maintenance?

Periodontal maintenance is completely different from a dental prophylaxis and generally forms part of ongoing treatment to maintain healthy gums in someone who has active periodontal disease. One of the problems with periodontal disease is that this condition is chronic and cannot be completely cured. Periodontal maintenance help keeps the number of bacteria in the mouth under control and is an extremely important part of ongoing treatment. Research has shown that patients who undergo active periodontal treatment of any kind, whether that is surgical or nonsurgical and who fail to follow an appropriate periodontal maintenance plan will lose two or three times more teeth compared to those patients who have ongoing periodontal maintenance.


Types of Periodontal Maintenance Treatments

The most widely used the type of periodontal maintenance is scaling and root planing, a way of deep cleaning gums and clearing out bacterial infection in the gum pockets around the teeth. Dr. Navid Rahmani, the periodontist at Contemporary Periodontics & Implant Surgery may use this as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with laser therapy. Laser therapy can be an important part of ongoing periodontal maintenance as it is a very gentle yet effective way of eliminating many of the bacteria in the gum pockets. The energy from the laser helps to sterilize the gum pockets and if necessary can be used to gently remove any diseased tissues so the gums can heal more easily.


How Often Will I Need it ?

The exact frequency is likely to depend on the severity of your periodontal disease and the degree to which it is controlled. Most people will need to have ongoing periodontal therapy every three or four months and it’s likely you will be provided with a customized treatment plan which details the frequency of treatments as well as the type of treatment that will be used each time. It could be that certain treatments are alternated with others to provide optimum results.


Can Periodontal Maintenance Restore Gum Tissue?

No, unfortunately not. It is possible to help regenerate lost bone and gum tissues that have been destroyed by advanced gum disease, but this does require more sophisticated treatments. As a specialist dentist, Dr. Rahmani is able to provide these procedures and can recommend the most appropriate if required.