Periodontal Maintenance Therapy

General Information & Overview

After scaling and root planing, you will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain the health of your mouth. Because periodontal disease is a chronic disease, without careful ongoing monitoring and treatment, periodontal disease can recur. Once you have been treated for periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance procedures enable you to gain control of the disease and increase your chance of keeping your natural teeth. Periodontal maintenance is a specialized treatment to protect the foundation of the gums and bone that support your teeth. This treatment is different from the traditional six-month cleanings where calculus, stain, and plaque is removed from tooth structures on individuals with no bone loss, periodontal disease, or infections around their teeth.

The frequency of maintenance visits varies from person to person. Intervals between visits may range from a few weeks to four times a year with check-ups by the dentist. Factors that influence the frequency of treatment include genetic, stress, or tobacco uses, the severity of periodontal disease, bone loss at the time of initial treatment, over-all general health, and at-home oral hygiene.

The hygienist also evaluates your home care and gives you suggestions of tools or techniques if improvement is needed. The increased attention to periodontal disease control that is evident in a periodontal maintenance appointment is meant to help you retain the health of your teeth and gums for a lifetime.

Periodontal disease can easily recur. The bacteria that caused the infection are still present in your mouth and are always ready to attack the teeth, bone and gum tissues. Maintenance therapy is an absolute necessity to ensure that the periodontal infection does not reactivate.

Periodontal Health Status & Risk For Recurrence Factors
  • Immune response
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Medical status
  • Continuing use of tobacco products
Factors to Determine Follow-Up Care
  • Clinical signs of control of infection
  • Degree of residual pocket depth and bone loss
  • Effectiveness of bacterial plaque control
  • Individual susceptibility, immune system response
  • Health, medications, age and other risk factors including smoking, diet, and nutrition