Supportive Periodontal Care
With successful completion of the active phase of periodontal treatment, you are “back to square one”, or as close as can be feasibly accomplished. It is critical, however, to realize the progression of events that caused the problems in the first place and put in place solutions such as lifestyle changes, that will minimize the possibility of disease recurrence. With this in mind, Dr. Culberson will provide you with a personalized maintenance program of care to keep your gums, bone and teeth healthy.
Periodontal 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 hygiene and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist and/or Dr. Culberson will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your 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. Therefore, a dental professional must check periodically 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, the severity of your periodontal disease before treatment and the degree of successful disease control. Generally, the more severe your periodontal disease is initially, the more often Dr. Culberson needs to oversee your care. Together, you, your general dentist and Dr. Culberson 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
- 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
- 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
- application or prescription of medications to address any other problems you may have.
How often should you have supportive periodontal care visits?
Your periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your periodontal maintenance care appointments might be 2-, 3-, 4- or 6 months. Everyone’s situation is different. The frequency of your supportive care visits will be influenced by:
- medical conditions
- the type/extent of periodontal disease you have
- the type/extent 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. Culberson?
Your dentist and Dr. Culberson work together as a team to provide you with the best possible care. They combine their experience and expertise to formulate the best maintenance plan for you. They keep each other informed about your progress. Although Dr. Culberson 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. Culberson detects tooth decay or a restorative issue during a maintenance visit, he will refer you to your general dentist for treatment.
To prevent recurrence of periodontal disease, and keep your natural teeth for your lifetime—carefully and conscientiously follow the guidelines of the maintenance program that Dr. Culberson recommends. Protecting your periodontal health through preventive maintenance has great benefits for you. You will be healthier, able to chew with more comfort, smile more naturally 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.