Regular teeth cleaning appointments—recommended every six months—are preventive because the purpose isn’t to treat gum disease but rather to keep it from developing.
Periodontal maintenance appointments are recommended when our hygienist needs to target existing gum disease to prevent it from advancing.
Preventive Teeth Cleanings
During your regular or prophy cleaning appointment, your hygienist removes stains, plaque, and tartar deposits on the tooth’s crown. They also measure the depth of periodontal pockets, which is the amount of space between your teeth and gums.
Periodontal Maintenace Cleanings
Pockets over 4mm in depth indicate the presence of gum disease. In this case, our hygienist would recommend an appointment for a specialized deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. Your hygienist performs this procedure over two appointments, and it involves removing (scaling) plaque and tartar from your teeth and planing or smoothing the tooth’s roots.
Periodontal maintenance appointments occur after the deep cleaning procedure. Your hygienist develops a personalized treatment plan with cleanings scheduled at a frequency that’s right for you.
Most patients require periodontal maintenance appointments 3-4 times a year, including scaling below the gumline to control the progression of gum disease.
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning with Us
Healthy smiles rely on healthy gums, and we can help you achieve both. Please call our Lakewood, TX dental office to schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment.