It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)! Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.
Once your initial periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular hygiene maintenance (periodontal cleanings). The interval suggested will be based on your individual condition. If deep pockets exist or inflammation persists, a 3 month interval will likely be ideal. If the pockets are all 3mm or less with minimal inflammation, a 6 month interval is usually appropriate. At these maintenance appointments, plaque and calculus will be removed from above and below the gum line to improve and maintain your periodontal health.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. 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, 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.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!