Dr. Altschuler and our hygienists form a team with you and your good home oral care to keep your gums healthy and your teeth strong. That’s why, along with your regularly scheduled dental checkups, you are also scheduled for regular dental hygiene appointments.
While the professional examination and cleaning of your gums and teeth is part of the care you always receive in our practice, the detection of gum disease at any stage alerts us to a greater need for scheduled examination and care. If you suffer from periodontal disease, we will help you decide upon the proper treatment. Dr. Altschuler and our hygienists will also plan and perform a regularly scheduled program of Periodontal Maintenance Therapy tailored specifically to your needs.
Because plaque forms on your teeth on a constant basis, the bacteria in plaque regularly attack your teeth and gums. When plaque is not thoroughly removed, it hardens into a deposit known as calculus or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will minimize the formation of calculus but cannot entirely prevent it. In spite of your best home oral care, plaque can cause the recurrence of gum disease in just two to four months following a professional cleaning.
You can see how important it is to your oral health to maintain a regular schedule of periodontal care once gum disease has been diagnosed and you have received treatment to bring it under control. The continuing health of your gums and teeth as well as your health in general depend upon it.
The frequency of your visits for Periodontal Maintenance Therapy will be determined by our doctors based upon your periodontal condition. According to your own individual needs, your maintenance visits may be scheduled from every few weeks to every six months. Since each patient’s case is unique, Dr. Altschuler recommends your program of periodontal maintenance therapy according to:
- the type of periodontal disease you are suffering
- the kind of periodontal treatment you have received
- your history of response to treatment
- your individual rate of plaque growth
The schedule for your therapy is also highly dependent upon your dedication to good home oral care. If we find that your gums are responding well to the program you are following at home and that your oral health is being well-maintained, you may be rescheduled for longer intervals between therapy appointments. If your oral health declines, you may be rescheduled for more frequent therapy appointments. Some patients have periodontal disease that does not respond appreciably to even the most devoted home oral care and we are pledged to providing an ongoing program of professional periodontal maintenance therapy that will maintain the best possible health for your teeth and gums.
What to Expect
During your maintenance visits, Dr. Altschuler will discuss with you any changes that may have occurred in your health history. He will examine your mouth for any abnormal changes and measure the depth of the gum pockets around your teeth.
Seeing you gives us the opportunity to evaluate your home oral hygiene and to instruct you in ways that may improve your results. We will clean your teeth to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus and will take the x-rays necessary to evaluate your teeth and the bone supporting them.
We’ll examine your teeth for signs of decay and any other dental problems that may have developed and check the way your teeth fit together when you bite down. We’ll also apply or prescribe medications to counteract tooth sensitivity or other problems that you may be experiencing.
We are always committed to taking only those x-rays that are necessary for your care. Because x-rays reveal areas of the teeth that are not visible to the naked eye, they enable early detection of disease, which allows for the quickest possible treatment. For that reason, we use x-rays to help us continue to evaluate and maintain your periodontal health.
Is Periodontal Maintenance Therapy Really Necessary?
Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults in the United States and now has been associated with many other health risks such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well. Once you have experienced gum disease, it is important to remain dedicated to a permanent schedule of proper home and professional oral care because only regular treatment will maintain your oral health.
The care you receive through periodontal maintenance therapy can offset the necessity of more extensive periodontal care, the need for implants due to the loss of teeth, and the hardship and cost of additional health concerns.
Through proper periodontal treatment and an ongoing program of periodontal maintenance therapy, our doctors can give you the opportunity to maintain your strong and beautiful smile and overall good health for a lifetime.