What is the difference between a “regular cleaning,”and periodontal maintenance? The ADA recognizes a prophylaxis or “regular cleaning” as removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. This deposit removal is performed on tooth structures that have not been affected by bone loss-typically the crowns of the teeth. The mouth should be healthy, with no gum or bone problems, recession, or infection. Routine instruments(scalers) are used and sometimes an ultra-sonic scaler may be used to remove superficial tartar and plaque from the teeth. The old system of having your recall visits twice a year has gone by the wayside. The idea actually came from a 1940’s toothpaste commercial!! We set up your periodontal schedule based on your personal needs. This could be as often as 4 times per year.
Periodontal maintenance is a special, on-going gum and bone care procedure with different scalers, irrigation and often a soft tissue laser. It is also known as SPT or supportive periodontal treatment and includes pocket measurement, review of home care, scaling/root planing selected areas and irrigation as needed. It is suggested after an adult patient has undergone either periodontal surgeries or even non surgical scaling and root planing in one or more areas of the mouth. Similar to diabetes, periodontal disease is never CURED, but is CONTROLLED by these periodontal maintenance visits 3-4 times a year. If dental benefits are involved, they usually only cover 2 per calendar year or half of what the patient really needs. At Grand Dentistry a soft tissue laser is used for selected patients to reduce the bacterial count at the gum interface and desensitize the sensory nerves in the area. It is traced around the teeth where inflammation is present and patients find it very comfortable.
With the number of children playing sports and involved with extracurricular activities, unfortunately we occasionally see traumatic injuries. One of the most severe injuries to a tooth is avulsion or a completely displaced tooth. Reimplantion as soon as possible is of utmost importance, preferably within just a few minutes. If reimplation is delayed, there is a high probability of losing the tooth. An avulsed tooth can be placed in milk, saline, or ideally in a balanced salt solution until it can be reimplanted and splinted by a dentist. Grand Dentistry has designed a “tooth ambulence” with the appropriate medium to store the tooth in. Request one free of charge for your sports team, troop, or other organization.
Many patients have communicated a fear or “dental phobia” around dentistry that keeps them from even picking up the phone to make a simple cleaning appointment.
You should NOT feel embarrassed or abnormal. Many people feel your same anxieties. An excellent way to help yourself is to call and ask for a “tour” of our office. You are under absolutely NO obligation and we do not charge for this service. Then you can see for yourself if we are the perfect office for you! Also we do offer many ways to help you through your first visit.
Depending on your medical history, we can prescribe oral medications to calm you, as long as you have a friend or relative to drive you to and from our office. Nitrous oxide, or “happy gas” is another option that is extremely safe for all ages. We also have available a board certified anesthesiologist that will come into our office to assist you with IV sedation, similar to being in a surgery center. Many patients have found this to be the perfect solution for them. The most common cause of tooth loss in adults over 18 is “gum disease,” not broken or traumatized teeth. Making a simple exam and cleaning appointment could save you many future visits and expenses.