Why do I need maintenance?
- I need maintenance.
- We need it too!
Periodontal maintenance is also referred as supportive periodontal therapy. It is regular dental visits after the gum disease treatment is completed.
Three reasons why you need regular periodontal maintenance or supportive therapy:
1. To keep teeth and implants for longer, so chewing the food and smile is not affected.
There are number of studies (you can request references) supporting the fact that periodontal maintenance help retain teeth and implants for longer. If they do not follow regular supportive therapy after the treatment, they will not get pain, may get little bleeding gums. without them being aware, they will continue getting worse over time and end up loosing three to six times more teeth than regular patients.
2. To maintain health of your teeth and implants, so they don’t contribute to heart attack or stroke.
Periodontitis has been linked with atherosclerosis which can cause heart attack and stroke (references can be requested). Subjects with periodontitis are likely to get heart attack or stroke at younger age, even if they don’t smoke or drink, are not overweight. It is absolutely important to control periodontitis over long time, so that the negative side effects on the body can be avoided.
3. To locate any problems around a tooth or implant early enough and treat them in timely manner, so that you don’t end up getting extensive damage without being aware of it.
Dental treatment is expensive and loosing a tooth or RCT is even more expensive. It is absolutely important to see a dentist regularly so that the dental problems can be detected and treated early.
BIological basis for periodontal maintenance:
Periodontitis is caused by inflammatory response against plaque. Once plaque is removed, inflammation subsides and pocket heals.
Once the pocket heals, it is easier to keep control of plaque above gum-line. Plaque may start forming below the gum-line over 3-4 months. Once it becomes complex, body’s inflammatory response again becomes active against plaque.
Inflammatory response is controlled by genetics, smoking, diabetes. While it is possible to give up smoking and control diabetes, it is not possible to change genetics. Controlling inflammation (periodontitis treatment) does not change genetic susceptibility, i.e. body’s innate tendency to fight against biofilm. In most patients (66%), this is not a big problem. Around one in three individuals continue loosing tooth support over time due to inadequate maintenance.
The need for peridontal maintenance is summaries as follows:
What is involved in periodontal maintenance or supportive periodontal therapy (SPT):
Supportive therapy or maintenance is initiated after the majority of infection/inflammation is treated. It involves:
- monitoring of periodontal pockets,
- removing plaque around the gums, more importantly below the gums
- It is not painful, but if teeth are sensitive, they can be treated by numbing them with local anaesthesia.
At Perio’Plant clinic, periodontal maintenance costs around $300.
there are number of studies (you can request references) supporting the fact that periodontal maintenance help retain teeth and implants for longer. If they do not follow regular supportive therapy after the treatment, they will not get pain, may get little bleeding gums. without them being aware, they will continue getting worse over time and end up loosing three to six times more teeth than regular patients.
Would my regular scale and clean with general dentist sufficient to maintain teeth?
Shared care is often possible with general dentist, please discuss with a periodontist in Perio’Plant clinic during your next appointment. Generally only scale and clean is not found to control gum disease over 5-10 years in scientific studies (can be requested). Syste