It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)!  Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.

Following initial treatment for periodontitis (LANAP®), your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year.  At these cleaning appointments, plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above the gum line, and your home care regimen reviewed.  One year after the LANAP® procedure, we will check pocket depths, do a microscopic bacterial exam and take x-rays to see how your bone levels and gum attachment have improved.  Depending on the findings, we may recommend additional home care tools such as an oral irrigator (Viajet or WaterPik) to help control bacteria populations under your gums.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, etc.
  • Detection of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, oral irrigators, etc.)
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!  Because you are able to clean your teeth every day, what you do at home is more important than what you have done in our office.  In general, the more time you spend, and the better the technique you use at home, the less treatment you will need from us.