Prophylaxis and Periodontal Treatment
Each of our registered dental hygienists has more than 30 years of experience in offering customized and ongoing therapeutic and preventive treatment to keep your teeth healthy.
Calculus (tartar) builds up from minerals in your saliva and if left unchecked can cause gingivitis (gum inflammation), periodontitis (gum inflammation which evolves into bone loss around the teeth due to the inflammatory process), and eventually tooth loss. More teeth are lost to periodontal disease than cavities and trauma combined.
Everyone has a different genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. Some people can get away with subpar hygiene and don’t advance from gingivitis to periodontal disease. Others can have meticulous oral hygeine and still require professional periodontal treatment.
Dental prophylaxis (Dental Cleaning) – This procedure is typically done on patients without periodontal disease and is performed every six months. It is typically a 1 hour appointment but can be extended based on individual circumstances.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) – This Procedure is the first thing prescribed if the patient has active periodontal disease. The periodontal condition will be diagnosed by Carol or Dorothy and Dr. Flanigan based primarily on the depth of pocketing around the teeth and the level of inflammation in the pocketing (commonly referred to as a bleeding index). Dental radiographs are a secondary tool in diagnosis of periodontal disease. The deep cleaning is performed with local anesthesia with the goal to remove pathogenic bacteria lodged in calculus from under the gum line. Follow up to this procedure occurs a minimum of 6 weeks later and involves remeasuring pocketing and bleeding for resolution. If further treatment is needed we will provide a referral to a periodontist (dentist who specializes in gum disease) for evaluation and treatment.
Periodontal Maintenance – This procedure is provided following SRP (Scaling and Root Planing) to maintain the patient from progressing back to active periodontal disease. It is a more in-depth cleaning and can be from 60-90 minutes long and patients are seen every 2,3,4 or 6 months depending on individual circumstances. Sometimes local anesthesia is used with maintenance as well.