Supportive Periodontal Therapy

After active periodontal treatment has taken place, supportive periodontal therapy (maintenance therapy) is very important to stop any progression of periodontal disease and to prevent it from recurring. It is recommended that periodontal patients receive this maintenance service every 3-4 months. It involves x-ray and/or examination to discover if there has been more bone loss, increased pocket depths, increased mobility, or gum recession. The hygienist cleans above and below the gum line to remove plaque and calculus (tartar), and smooths the tooth root (planing) to remove any bacteria embedded there. Your teeth are polished to remove stain. Antibiotics may be placed in periodontal pockets to control infection and to encourage normal healing. Fluoride varnishes may also be applied to reduce sensitivity. Oral cancer screening exams are performed on a yearly basis.

Dr. Brown recommends that patients alternate their maintenance therapy between her office and their regular dentist every 3-4 months. Dr. Brown tells her patients that “you are getting the best of both worlds this way.”

Along with the regularly scheduled maintenance therapy provided by the periodontist and the regular dentist, it is important for the patient to be conscientious in the oral care of their teeth at home.

Dr. Brown also encourages patients to see their primary care doctors and other health care providers on a regular basis due to the links between systemic (general health) and gum (periodontal) disease.

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