Regular Dental Cleanings vs. Periodontal Maintenance: Know The Differences

Keeping your teeth healthy is important for both your appearance and your health. Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent cavities, tooth decay and expensive repairs or replacements. When you visit your dentist, they may throw out terms like “dental cleanings” or “periodontal maintenance.” If you’re confused about their meanings, here are what each one means along with some similarities and differences between them.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Also known as prophylaxis, regular dental cleanings are regular check-ups for your teeth that may occur once or twice per year. These cleanings help to prevent further problems to your oral health. These regular cleanings not only help you keep your teeth clean, but it also allows your dentist to detect early signs of cavities, tooth decay, abscesses, or even cancer.

During a dental cleaning, a hygienist works to clean your teeth using a variety of tools to remove bacteria and plaque. They may also floss and polish your teeth to remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas and give them an extra shine.

During a visit for a regular dental cleaning, you aren’t having any reparative work done on your teeth. The purpose of the cleaning is to identify problems and prevent further damage. It helps to remove plaque that has built up from your last visit. This is quite different from a periodontal maintenance visit.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance has several similarities to a normal dental cleaning, but it includes deeper and more frequent cleanings. If you find yourself needing periodontal maintenance, you may visit your dentist every three to four months.

While regular cleanings should happen for everyone, you only need periodontal maintenance if you have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is like an infection of your gums. It may lead to swollen, bleeding or tender gums, as well as loose teeth and painful chewing. Periodontal disease can be dangerous for the health of your teeth and mouth.

If you need periodontal maintenance due to periodontal disease, you require a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums. Just like a normal cleaning, a dental hygienist will use tools to remove plaque that built up in between visits. However, they will also use a method known as scaling and root planing to clean further between your teeth, all the way down to your gums.

During periodontal maintenance, they’ll also check gum-pockets to look for infection, inflammation, or build-up of place. If they find any of these things, the hygienist will treat the area with an antiseptic. This helps reduce infection and inflammation.

Dental Care in Cincinnati

It’s important to keep your teeth healthy with regular dental cleanings. These cleanings are regular maintenance of your teeth where a dentist examines your mouth to look for concerns and helps prevent future problems. However, those with gum infections also require periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a deep cleaning which helps prevent further infection from occurring, which may impact your oral health. Visit Fennell Yoxthimer and Associates to protect your smile today.

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