Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) by our patients about periodontal maintenance:
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Routine cleaning is not recommended if you have periodontal disease (gum disease) that has resulted in bone loss, gum pockets deeper than 4 millimeters, bleeding gums, or exposed root surfaces, or if you have had periodontal surgery or root planing to treat this disease. Scaling is required for periodontal maintenance in order to keep the gums and bones healthy. Plaque and tartar are removed from above and below the gum line, as well as from the length of each tooth to the point where the root, gum, and bone meet. If necessary, rough parts of the roots are smoothed, pocket depths are carefully monitored, and inflamed pockets may be treated with antibiotics.
Who is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is someone who specializes in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. In addition, they also perform a range of other treatments, such as dental implants, root planing, scaling, oral inflammation, etc.
Does Periodontal Therapy Require Surgery?
No, it’s not required in all cases since every patient is unique and requires tailored treatments. However, it may become inevitable for the patient to get periodontal surgery if the condition is severe.
What If I Avoid or Delay Periodontal Therapy?
Always bear in mind that periodontal disease is progressive in nature. Consider it a painful gum infection that will worsen with time. Thus, a delay in getting gum disease treatment can make the condition much more severe. You may suffer further bone loss, which can become quite painful and requires extensive treatments.
How Do I Know If I Need Periodontal Maintenance Therapy?
Generally, the following symptoms indicate that it’s time to get this therapy:
- Swollen gums that are prone to bleeding.
- Foul mouth odor, also called halitosis.
- Loose teeth.
- It’s important that you visit your gum disease doctor if you experience these symptoms.
How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
The periodontist conducts a basic dental examination to diagnose this disease. They usually check for loose teeth, measure periodontal pockets and gum recession, and examine teeth’ alignment. Once it’s established that the patient is suffering from gum disease, a treatment plan is devised. Treatment for advanced periodontal disease will be required if the condition has become severe.
What is the Recovery Time from Periodontal Surgery?
It varies from patient to patient and the severity of the condition. Some patients require more extensive post-op care than others.
Can Periodontal Disease Be Prevented?
Yes, if you maintain optimal dental health, i.e., brush twice a day, floss every day, eat healthy food items, and visit your dentist every six months, gum disease and the subsequent periodontal therapy can be prevented.
Is Periodontal Cleaning painful?
This depends on the patient’s level of pain tolerance and the scope of the scaling and root planing required. Generally, the procedure is not painful, therefore the quick answer is no. You may feel uncomfortable afterward, but the procedure can be finished with the application of a local anesthetic to the soft tissue to reduce any discomfort.
What is the cost of Periodontal Therapy?
The cost of the treatment depends on a few factors. These include the location from where you are getting the treatment, the dentist providing it, and the extent of treatment required.
At times, the treatment precedes surgery if the damage to the teeth and gums requires it. This can increase the cost. Some insurance plans offer coverage for periodontal cleaning. Mostly, the insurance company is likely to pay for all or part of two such cleanings in a year. To learn more about coverage policies, you should contact your dental insurance company.
How often should I get Periodontal Cleaning?
On average, the dentist may recommend getting this therapy once or twice a year. However, the frequency may be increased if your dentist believes it is necessary to maintain your oral health.
Can this therapy control gum disease?
If your gum disease is in its very early stage, called gingivitis, then it is possible to reverse it. When it has progressed to advanced stages (periodontitis), then it is only possible to treat it but there is no absolute cure. If your gum disease has advanced, then the dentist will recommend an oral health plan personalized for your needs. If you follow this plan, you can still maintain a good level of teeth, gum, and bone health.
Periodontal Dentistry in Seattle
Sue Vetter’s dental services in Seattle include periodontal therapy, which also features scaling and root planing. We will first schedule a dental check-up to ensure you have gum disease. Depending on the extent of damage to your teeth and gums, a dental plan will be developed for you.
We ensure that our patients get treatment in a comfortable and hygienic environment, under the supervision of qualified dentists and trained staff. From the start to the end of your treatment, you can be assured of comfort and convenience.