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Periodontal Maintenance vs. Regular Dental Cleaning

Periodontal maintenance involves a cleaning that is deeper than a normal cleaning in a dental office. Patients with a history of periodontal disease need deeper and more frequent cleanings because periodontal “pockets” have formed. Pockets are spaces between the teeth and gums where plaque and tartar form.  While regular cleanings (prophylaxis) cleans the crowns of your teeth above your gum line, periodontal maintenance goes a little deeper, slightly below the gum line.  



Periodontal Maintenance

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

  • Examination of diagnostic digital x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, bone loss, cysts and tumors.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, floor of the mouth, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.