What Is Oral Hygiene?
Oral Hygiene is a set of steps you regularly take to keep your mouth clean and free of any disease. It includes but not limited to brushing your teeth, cleaning your tong, flossing several times a day and visiting your dentist/ hygienist regularly.
What kind of cleanings are there?
Three are different kinds of “cleanings” available at our dental office:
Done once every six months on healthy gums, known as “regular cleaning.” It prevents healthy teeth and gums from any disease. Some patients chose to have prophylaxis done every 3-4 months because they like clean feeling after the procedure. However, it is not recommended to wait more than 6 months between this “cleaning”.
- Full Mouth Debridement
When plaque, inflammation, or bacteria are present in your month, your hygienist will conduct this type of “cleaning” to remove the build-up and tartar to help inflammation to heal and check bone loss accurately. This procedure is a “preparation” for a deep cleaning.
- Scaling and Root Planning
When gums are bleeding, inflammation and bone loss are detected, and other symptoms are present (depending on the patient’s mouth condition), your hygienist will perform a Deep Cleaning or Scaling and Root Planning. Sometimes this “cleaning” is called “deep cleaning”.
This type of “cleaning” is done under local anesthesia and usually takes two appointments (Right Side and Left Side separately). Tartar build-up from underneath the gums and bone line that you cannot clean at home is removed by your hygienist with the special tools as much as possible to start a healing process of bone loss.
The bone will never grow back, but our primary goal is to make the gums strong enough to re-attach to the tooth, to prevent further bone loss, and eventually to prevent loss of teeth dues to periodontal disease.
Such “cleaning” is done once every two years and should be maintained with Periodontal Maintenance every 3-4 months.
- Periodontal maintenance
If your hygienist and/or dentist determine that you have periodontal disease or inflammation (gingivitis) underneath your gums, you will be recommended to follow regular gum therapy such as Scaling and Root Planning with so called “periodontal maintenance”. Such “cleaning” should be done every three to four months to fight bacteria and to control the inflammation. The cleaning experience is very similar to a Prophylaxis, but with shorter intervals of time. Active bacteria grows every ninety days and it cannot be 100% removed; however, it could be controlled by Perio- Maintenance every 3 months.
A little more about Periodontal Maintenance.
Our hygienist and doctors get a lot of questions about this particular type of “cleaning”. Therefore, we’d like to spend more time talking about Periodontal Maintenance.
Why do I need a Periodontal Maintenance?
Your hygienist recommends it based on your gum condition, and after having Scaling and Root planing (deep cleaning) done. It is essential to maintain minimal bacteria since gum disease cannot be treated entirely but could be very well controlled. Periodontal maintenance is one of the main tools used to fight its aggressive progress.
Is having a Periodontal Maintenance Painful?
No, it is similar to regular cleaning but scheduled every three months to fight periodontal disease purposes. Some patients refer to pain as having sensitivity during their maintenance, but your hygienist will discuss different options to take care of it accordingly. Some local anesthesia could be administered is sensitivity is unbearable.
How often should this procedure be done?
It is advised to be completed every three to four months since the bacteria grows every 90 days.
What happens during a Periodontal maintenance procedure?
During periodontal maintenance visit your hygienist evaluates gum tissue, bone level, plaque accumulation and recession. She or he will remove tartar build-up. Overall the process is very similar to regular cleaning.
Is periodontal maintenance expensive?
Periodontal maintenance is about $200 without diagnostic x-rays or a doctor’s exam. Many Financing options are available; we accept Cash, various Credit Cards (Visa/MC, Amex, discover) Care Credit, Lending Club and Health Financial Services. We also help you to apply for any of these financial options right in our office.
We also offer a Membership program that will take care of your every three-months periodontal maintenance appointment and other services.
Who is performing my Periodontal Maintenance?
Your Dental Hygienist will perform your periodontal maintenance. Although, in some severe cases, the patient will be treated by a periodontist, a dentist that specializes in gums diseases.
In our office we have all specialists available for all your dental needs.
And the most important step – schedule regular dental checkups! You should come to see your hygienist at least twice a year and or 3 times a year depending on your periodontal conditions.
Very Truly Yours,
Carolina Toro, RDH
your dental hygienist at Smiles on the Hudson