Regular Dental Cleaning vs Periodontal Maintenance

Prophylaxis (Prohy or Regular Dental Cleaning) are for healthy mouths, and only recommended for patients who have generally good oral health & do not suffer from bone loss or gum problems (bleeding, recession, infection, subgingival deposits or periodontal pocketing etc.) A dental hygienist or a dentist uses an ultrasonic scaler and hand tools, to remove plaque, calculus and stain. This cleaning occurs only on the visible part of the tooth, known as a the crown." The key word here is "coronal."  The typical prophy patient comes every six months, has good/ excellent homecare, healthy gingival tissues, no bleed on gentle probing present, and has no pockets over 4mm.
 
Deep cleaning also known as Periodontal scaling or root planing, involves cleaning the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove deposits, (not prophylactic but, in nature but therapeutic .) It is indicated for patients with periodontal disease. Periodontal procedures are, are usually sub gingival, and remove debris and destroy/disrupt bacteria from proliferation.  Patients with active or inactive periodontal disease, show lasting signs of the disease such as bone loss and pocketing - which is normally localized. Periodontal disease isn't curable, but can be controllable in most patients, with regular perio maintenance visits and good homecare.
 
Periodontal maintenance procedures follow active periodontal threaphy such as root planing and scaling. At these appointments the goal is to remove subgingival bacteria, destroy and disrupt the growth of bacteria .The ultrasonic scalar inserts should be used on low for 75%   of the scaling, mainly because the lavage. At this appointment the plaque level, condition of the gums, depth of the pockets, bleeding and inflammation are evaluated, homecare is review and oral hygiene instructions are given to help aid patient in areas that need more attention.  When new or recurring periodontal disease appears, additional diagnostic and treatment procedures must be considered, such as laser treatment therapy, antimicorable irrigation, antibiotic placement in the pockets. If areas do not resolve further Surgical treatment may be necessary. Three months interval is crucial to maintaining the disease, after 90 days the bacteria that cause Periodontal disease recollinates. It is necessary for you to understand that periodontal maintenance is different from a regular prophy because you are controlling disease with periodontal maintenance.
 
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Author
Angela Loza, RDH Angela Loza, R.D.H. I grew up in East Bay Area, where I attended Diablo Valley College. In 2010 I graduated with a Dental Hygiene degree, along with, two AA degrees and an AS degree, in which I graduated with honors. As a child, I always had that nurturing instinct, which is why I was drawn to dental hygiene. “My favorite part of my job is educating and instructing our patients, to help them to achieve optimal oral health. When you see patients improve their oral health due to your services, it is a great feeling to know that you made a difference in someone’s life. An added benefit is the great team we have here.” I am a mother of three great kids Xalia, Antonio and Marcello, they brighten my smile every day. On the weekends, we keep busy with my son’s sporting events, going to park, beach or just hang out and watch movies.

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