Thank you for your efforts during the active phase of your nonsurgical periodontal treatment. You are now ready for the important maintenance phase to monitor and stabilize your periodontal health.
Why is maintenance therapy important?
Periodontal disease can easily reoccur. The bacteria that caused the infection are present in your mouth and are ready to attack the teeth, bone and gum tissues. Supportive periodontal therapy is an absolute necessity to ensure that the periodontal infection does not re-activate. Continuing periodontal care will be maintained at varying intervals, beginning with 3 - 4 months, and is an extension of active periodontal treatment. There is significant scientific evidence stating that the most important aspect of periodontal treatment is ongoing maintenance therapy.
Most people have a varying resistance to periodontal disease at different times in their lives. An individual’s resistance may be normal for years, and then resistance may diminish and the infection may reoccur. The host immune response, genetic predisposition, medical status, and tobacco use, as well as other mediating factors, contribute to the risk. It is because of these factors that periodontal disease is not curable. However, in most cases, it is controllable, and that is why close monitoring with maintenance therapy is so important. Everyone responds differently to treatment. Factors to determine follow-up care include:
- Clinical signs of control of infection such as inflammation and bleeding associated with gums.
- Degree of residual pocket depth and bone loss.
- Effectiveness of bacterial plaque control. i.e. your home care – brushing and flossing.
- Individual susceptibility, host immune response.
- Health, medications, age, stress, and other risk factors including smoking, diet and nutrition.
What occurs during preventive maintenance therapy appointments?
You will receive a comprehensive periodontal examination to evaluate the health of your gums and to identify any clinical signs of disease recurrence and active infection. You will also receive necessary periodontal treatment by our hygienist who uses an Ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to remove bacterial plaque and tartar. Evaluation of disease control efforts will be performed along with review and recommendations for improvement, as well as provision of dental aids to assist you. In addition, a complete review of your medical status, risk factors, health history and all oral health examinations including oral cancer screening and necessary X-rays will be performed.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation. Current scientific research demonstrates a link between inflammation of the gums and systemic health. The goal of periodontal therapy is to control or eliminate active inflammation and disease progression to aid in optimum health. Keeping scheduled appointments and following self-care instructions are essential in our joint effort to obtain a successful result. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time should you have any further questions. Thank you for your continued commitment to good health!