Supportive Periodontal Care
After Dr. Davis or Dr. Livada has completed the active phase of periodontal treatment, your periodontal disease will be under control. He will provide you with a personalized maintenance program of care to keep your gums healthy.
Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist and Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime.
Our gentle Registered Dental Hygienists Kelsey and Linda will insure your continued success at keeping your teeth for a lifetime
Why is supportive periodontal care important?
As you have learned, you are susceptible to gum disease. And, you have probably learned, too, that the main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins, or poisons, which constantly attack your gums and teeth. Unless plaque is removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will help to minimize the formation of calculus, but it won’t completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease from two to four months after your last professional cleaning. Therefore, a dental professional must check for hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque at time intervals appropriate for you so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Who should perform supportive periodontal therapy?
The answer depends on you and the severity of your gum disease before treatment. Generally, the more severe your periodontal disease is initially, the more often Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada needs to oversee your care. Together, you, your general dentist and Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada will work out the most effective schedule for your supportive periodontal care.
Your maintenance/supportive periodontal care visit may include:
- discussion of any changes in your health history
- examination of your mouth tissues for abnormal changes (oral cancer screaning)
- measurement of the depth of pockets around your teeth
- assessment of your oral hygiene habits and provision of instruction
- removal of bacterial plaque and tartar with the focus on potential probelm areas and areas that have previously been treated
- x-ray film studies to evaluate your teeth and the bone supporting your teeth
- examination of your teeth for decay and other dental problems
- checkup on the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Teeth polishing
- application or prescription of medications to reduce tooth sensitivity or other problems you may have.
How often should you have supportive periodontal care visits?
Your individual periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your supportive periodontal care visits might be as often as every couple months or every six months. Everyone’s situation is different. The frequency of your supportive care visits will be influenced by:
- the type of periodontal disease you have
- the type of periodontal treatment you have
- your response to treatment
- your rate of plaque growth
- your personal commitment to good oral care at home.
What is the relationship between your dentist and Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada?
Your dentist and Dr. Davis or Dr. Livada work together as a team to provide you with the best possible care. They combine their experience to formulate the best maintenance plan for you. They keep each other informed about your progress. Although Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada may see you periodically for maintenance therapy, you will need to see your general dentist as well. Appointments for periodontal maintenance do not replace regular dental checkups. If Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada detects tooth decay during a maintenance visit, he will refer you to your general dentist for treatment. Your general dentist is primarily responsible for your overall dental health, including such dental needs as filling new or recurrent cavities or making changes in fillings, crowns or bridges.
To prevent periodontal disease, the major cause of tooth loss in adults—and keep your natural teeth for your lifetime—carefully and conscientiously follow the guidelines of the maintenance program that Dr. Davis / Dr. Livada recommends. Protecting your periodontal health through preventive maintenance has great benefits for you. You will be able to chew with more comfort, and you will be able to smile and speak with greater confidence. You will be able to keep dental costs down by preventing future problems. Your commitment to maintenance therapy is your commitment to your better oral health.
Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease. The benefits include:
- Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
- A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
- Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Prophylaxis can be performed at our office or by your general dentist. It may be beneficial to have your regular cleanings done by our Registered Dental Hygienists, who are more familiar with the full scope of your periodontal disease. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for patients who suffer with periodontitis. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools Dr. Davis can use to effectively halt its progression.