Once your treatment is complete, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend follow-up periodontal cleanings, usually four times a year. At these appointments, the dental hygienist will clean the teeth of both tartar and plaque that could not be removed at home, protecting the gums and bone structure from further damage. The dentist will also thoroughly check the depth of gum pockets and look for any other signs of the recurrence or progression of periodontal disease.
During the periodontal cleaning process, the dentist and dental hygienist will also work through the screening process applied in all standard dental cleaning visits, checking carefully for other potential dental problems:
- Tooth Decay: All tooth surfaces are checked for weaknesses and decay with special dental instruments.
- Oral Cancer Screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum Disease Evaluation: The gums and bones around the teeth will be checked for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of Existing Restorations: Any fillings, crowns, or other existing restorations will be checked for problems or concerns, ensuring that they remain fully functional.
- X-Ray Review: Recent dental x-rays will be reviewed to check for bone loss and other hidden problems.
Finally, it is vitally important to remember that it only take twenty-four hours for plaque to set on your teeth and turn into tartar. Daily home cleaning is absolutely essential to control the formation of the plaque and tartar that lead to periodontal disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and following the recommended schedule of dental cleaning visits is the very best way to maintain strong dental health and eliminate periodontal disease.