Dental health is vital to your overall well-being. Bad oral health not only affects your smile but also affects your social life, self-confidence, and overall health. While advanced gum disease leads to tooth loss, research has linked gum disease to contribute progression of other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Periodontal dental cleanings are a critical part of your gum health and dental wellness regimen to maintain healthy teeth and gums. While there is no one-size-fits-all regarding gum and bone health, one question always comes up: Which is better, scaling and root planning or periodontal health maintenance?
Different patients need different dental care services depending on their oral health. To help you make a choice between the two, it’s essential to understand the difference between periodontal maintenance and scaling and root planning. While both procedures are necessary for optimal oral health, they serve different purposes. Let’s take a closer look at each one to assess which one is better for your needs.
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a dental care procedure performed to clean your teeth thoroughly to prevent periodontal disease. Unlike regular cleanings, periodontal cleanings involve the removal of tartar and plaque buildup from above and below the gum line down to the entire length of every tooth where the jaw bone, gum, and root meet.
What is Scaling and Root Planing
According to the CDC, periodontitis (gum disease) affects 47.2% of adults, with the number significantly rising to over 70% among the elderly. Periodontitis also affects about half of the children in the U.S. While there is no known cure for periodontal disease, regular treatments can help reduce the risk of severe health issues, including bleeding gums and bone loss.
Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a non-surgical deep cleaning procedure that removes tartar from the teeth along with bacterial plaque buildup from below the gum line. It is a gentle procedure that helps to ensure proper gum infections control and effective management of periodontitis.
It involves two steps; scaling, where the dentist removes all the plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, then cleaning all the way to the gum pockets. Your dental hygienist will then perform root planning to smooth out your teeth to help your gums reattach easily to the teeth and prevent future tartar buildup and infections.
How Long Does Periodontal Maintenance Take?
Maintaining good oral health is a critical step in preventing the risk of developing gum disease. To prevent periodontitis, twice-annual checkups and regular dental cleaning are highly recommended.
Have you been diagnosed with periodontitis? You will need to book a periodontal maintenance appointment for in-depth treatments and procedures. Generally, these happen every three months to combat plaque buildup and harmful bacteria from causing gum infection and other health problems.
What Happens During Periodontal Maintenance?
During a periodontal maintenance visit, the hygienist will perform several procedures to remove tartar and plaque on the tooth root and your gum line to prevent periodontal disease.
X-rays and Dental Exams
To assess the extent of your periodontitis, the dentist will likely take x-rays and perform a dental exam. This will help in planning current and future treatments.
Thorough Routine Cleaning Above and Below the Gum Line
Periodontitis occurs due to a buildup of plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. This results in a buildup of harmful bacteria that can lead to gum recession. Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line using special instruments, scalers, and ultrasonic devices will remove tartar and plaque buildup.
To further prevent periodontitis from occurring, your dentist will perform root planning to remove bacteria and smoothen out your teeth to allow easier reattachment of the gums to prevent future periodontal disease from occurring.
Antibacterial Gel Application
Your hygienist will apply an antibacterial gel to your treated areas to fasten the healing process and remove any additional bacteria.
Periodontal Maintenance Program or Scaling and Root Planing?
Both periodontal maintenance and scaling and root planning are important for preventing gum disease and improving the health of your teeth and gums. However, there is a difference between them. Scaling and root planing is repaired to already damaged teeth while periodontal maintenance periodontal maintenance is part of the soft tissue management program recommended 2-3 times after scaling and root planning therapy.
Scaling and root planing is a process of removing tartar from the teeth along with bacterial plaque buildup from below the gum line. It involves scaling to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gums, followed by root planing, which smooths out your teeth’ surface.
Periodontal maintenance is essential to prevent gum disease plaque buildup, bad breath, and complications resulting from periodontitis. Regular periodontal maintenance visits will help you maintain good health, a healthy smile and prevent plaque and harmful bacteria that can cause severe complications.
Maintain your Oral Health with Help from Ridge Crest Periodontics
Proper oral and dental hygiene is critical to healthy teeth and gums. If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis partnering with a licensed and experienced dentist is essential to maintaining your dental health. Dr. Ethan Moulton of Ridge Crest Periodontics is Idaho Fall’s premier periodontist and dental implant specialist with a proven track record of improving and maintaining oral health.
Dr. Moulton provides surgical and non-surgical procedures to help you maintain a clean mouth and a healthy smile. Request an appointment today to help reduce your risk of gum disease and improve your oral health.