Dental Cleaning and Periodontal Therapy

While we can restore your teeth with fillings, crowns and the like, this means nothing if we can’t keep them and the surrounding tissue healthy.

What is a dental cleaning?

The dental cleaning, known as prophylaxis, is critical to your oral health. It is the removal of plaque, bacteria, calculus and extrinsic stains by a qualified dental hygienist. This cleaning does not require that we go underneath your gums to clean out any material,  which is typically not necessary for a healthy patient.

What is Periodontal Therapy?

Sometimes a regular prophylaxis just isn’t enough. A number of factors – oral hygiene practices at home, systemic diseases, genetics and pregnancy included – can cause you to fall somewhere on the spectrum of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is, simply, infection of the gums due to the continued presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It can range from mild gingivitis, where the gums are inflamed due to the bacteria but no permanent damage has been done, to severe periodontitis, where you’ve likely already had significant loss of gum attachment, bone loss and tooth loss from the present active infection.

In these cases, depending on how far the periodontal disease has progressed, you may need a referral to a periodontist. We work with a couple of extremely talented professionals in the area if this is the case. If the disease has been caught early enough, we can provide active periodontal therapy in our office, known as scaling and root planing.

After these sessions, we need to keep seeing you regularly to avoid a recurrence of periodontal infection. Usually this means periodontal maintenance visits every 3 to 4 months; since everyone is a little different, our hygienists and dentist will work with you to determine the best course of action.