Deep cleaning, prophylaxis and maintenance for periodontal care can prevent gum disease that can cause eventual loss of teeth. The silent disease called periodontitis may contribute to systemic disease and other health complications.
We place a lot of emphasis in periodontal care, which includes prevention of disease of the gums. We see healthy bone and gums (periodontium) as the most important part of our oral care efforts.
A dental prophylaxis is a routine cleaning procedure to remove plaque, tartar, and harmful build up from your teeth. But it is more than just a cleaning. It is really a preventative cleaning. It is normally performed twice per year to keep the oral cavity healthy. This includes measuring of your gum pockets to make sure they are healthy, making sure your medical history is up to date, and reviewed.
Limited number of X-rays taken to checking for cavities so they can be stopped, reversed, or filled if needed. Check to make sure soft tissue is healthy and free from lesions or sores, and finally performing a thorough cleaning. As a dentist I think this is your best form of dental insurance. We have a strong preventative system in place and it takes the bulk of our efforts. Your gums, and the bone under them are the foundation of your teeth, and smile. This is why our practice is centered around dental cleaning.
A deep cleaning is one that addresses tartar build-up under the gums, on the root surfaces that effect the health of the gums, and the bone. The deep cleaning is referred to as scaling and root planing. Not everyone needs a deep cleaning. This treatment can only be advised only after a thorough periodontal evaluation, and only if certain signs and symptoms are noted. Many factors must be considered before initiating this treatment.
If one is diagnosed for deep cleaning, the hygienist will focus on one section at a time, taking great care to remove the tartar, (calculus). This is important because calculus build-up harbors bad bacteria which will affect the bone under the gums in the long term. Any signs of gum bleeding, redness, tenderness, must not be ignored. Most of the time, especially in its initial stages, gum disease is silent. The system and team work we have in place focuses a lot of effort in treating and preventing periodontitis.
A maintenance procedure in dental hygiene is not necessarily a specific type of cleaning, but rather it is a goal. For example, the goal of deep cleaning is to remove all harmful tartar build up under the gums to prevent bone loss, then once the gums reach a healthy state, maintenance is performed for a period of time to remove residual tartar, and to keep the gums stable and healthy, and possibly improve them even more. This may need to be done every 3 months, or 4 months. It is a general full mouth cleaning.
After a period of health, and stability, then you may switch to what is called prophylaxis, which is a two times per year routine cleaning with limited exam of your teeth. But if you were to be examined, and your gums were determined to be healthy, then you would not need a deep cleaning or maintenance, but you would automatically be placed on a 6-month prophylaxis cleaning schedule.