Most preventative maintenance procedures can be performed in the course of a regular dental visit.  Preventative maintenance is generally recommended twice annually, but may be recommended every three to four months for patients at higher risk for the development or progression of periodontal disease.  Routine preventative maintenance procedures are the best methods to reduce the chances of periodontal disease.
  • Supragingival cleaning– The hygienist will thoroughly clean the tooth surfaces above the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and calculus.
  • Subgingival cleaning– This is the most important step for patients with active periodontal disease because the dentist or dental hygienist is able to remove calculus, plaque,  and bacteria from the gum pockets below the gum line where damage to the supporting structures occurs.
  • Root planing– This is the removal of calculus and smoothing of the tooth root by the dentist or dental hygienist to eliminate any bacteria adhering to the tooth root.  These bacteria play an integral role in the breakdown of the gum tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, so eliminating them is crucial for the long-term stability of the teeth and supporting structures.
  • Medication– Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic or antimicrobial rinse may be prescribed.  These localized antibiotics/antimicrobials promote fast healing in the deep pockets by killing bacterial over a period of several weeks.
  • X-ray and examination– Routine X-rays can be extremely revealing when it comes to periodontal disease.  X-rays show the extent of bone loss, and also aid the dentist/dental hygienist in identifying areas which may need future attention.
  • Sealants- Dental sealant is a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.