Supportive Periodontal Care
After we have completed the active phase of periodontal treatment, your periodontal disease should be under control. Dr. Rodriguez-Ortiz or Dr. Kiven will recommend a personalised maintenance program to both help you keep your gums healthy and allow early detection/management of any areas of recurrence.
We believe that regular specialist maintenance is the most important phase of periodontal treatment.
Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist and Drs. Rodriguez-Ortiz or Kiven will give you the best chance of keeping an aesthetic and functional dentition for your lifetime.
Why is supportive periodontal care important?
As you have learned, you are susceptible to gum disease. And, you have probably learned, too, that the main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins, or poisons, which constantly attack your gums and teeth. Unless plaque is removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing/inter dental cleaning will help minimise the formation of plaque and calculus, but won’t completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease if left undisturbed for too long after your last professional cleaning (typically 2-6 months)
Therefore, a dental professional must check for hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque both above and below the gum line at time intervals appropriate for you to minimise the risk of disease recurrence so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Who should perform supportive periodontal therapy?
The answer depends on you and the severity of your gum disease before treatment. Generally, the more severe your periodontal disease is initially, the more often we need to oversee your care. Together, you, your general dentist and Drs. Rodriguez-Ortiz or Kiven will work out the most effective schedule for your supportive periodontal care.
Your maintenance/supportive periodontal care visit may include:
- discussion of any changes in your health history
- examination of your mouth tissues for abnormal changes
- measurement of the depth of pockets around your teeth
- assessment of your oral hygiene habits and provision of instruction
- removal of bacterial plaque and tartar
- x-ray film studies to evaluate your teeth and the bone supporting your teeth
- examination of your teeth for decay and other dental problems
- checkup on the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- application or prescription of medications to reduce tooth sensitivity or other problems you may have
How often should you have supportive periodontal care visits?
Your periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your supportive periodontal care (SPC) visits might be as often as every few weeks or as frequent as every six months. Everyone’s situation is different. The frequency of your supportive care visits will be influenced by:
- the type of periodontal disease you have
- the type of periodontal treatment you have
- your response to treatment
- your rate of plaque growth
- your personal commitment to good oral care at home
- your general medical health
What is the relationship between your dentist and your periodontist?
Your dentist and Drs. Rodriguez-Ortiz or Kiven work together as a team to provide you with the best possible care. They combine their experience to formulate the best maintenance plan for you. They keep each other informed about your progress. Although a periodontist may see you periodically for maintenance therapy, you still need to see your general dentist as well. Appointments for specialist periodontal maintenance do not replace regular general dental checkups. If we detect tooth decay during a maintenance visit, you will be referred to your general dentist for treatment. Your general dentist is primarily responsible for your overall dental health (fillings etc.), while we focus on maintaining the foundation of your teeth/the periodontium
To prevent periodontal disease, the major cause of tooth loss in adults—and keep your natural teeth for your lifetime—carefully and conscientiously follow the guidelines of the maintenance program that Drs. Rodriguez-Ortiz or Kiven recommends. Protecting your periodontal health through preventive maintenance has great benefits for you. You will be able to chew with more comfort, and you will be able to smile and speak with greater confidence. You will be able to keep dental costs down by preventing future problems.
Your commitment to maintenance therapy is your commitment to better oral health/keeping your teeth for aesthetics and function.