Maintenance

Once the successful treatment of periodontal treatment has been completed, a continuing regimen of periodontal maintenance is necessary. This maintenance phase is a critical element of the long term success over the disease and a high percentage of patients who follow their maintenance schedule closely never have a recurrence.

The maintenance phase involves regular checkups to ensure that the disease remains under control as well as and detailed cleanings every three to four months to prevent recurrence and re-growth of the microorganisms which cause periodontal disease. Teeth which were affected by the disease prior to treatment are watched closely so that treatment can be started as quickly as possible should the disease return. Checkups can be done with the dental hygienist, the periodontist who treated the disease, or a general dentist.

With the disease under control, the patient receives a cleaning categorized as periodontal maintenance prophylaxis. This type of teeth cleaning is similar to regular maintenance but periodontal patients typically have more root surface exposed which makes the process a little more complicated. These cleaning sessions usually require between 45 minutes to one hour to complete.

In addition to office visits and regular cleanings, vigilant home care in the form of regular brushing and flossing is required. Periodontal disease often occurs simply due to poor plaque control. For this reason, proper brushing and flossing techniques must be used in the home to prevent a recurrence of the disease.