You may have glanced at a bill from your dentist and seen a big difference between the cost of periodontal maintenance and a regular cleaning. At HollowBrook Dental, your Colorado Springs dentist, we are sometimes asked about this, so we decided to explain about these two different types of dental procedures.
What is periodontal maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a procedure which becomes necessary after someone has experienced at least some level of periodontal disease, i.e. a disease affecting the gums in your mouth. Some patients experience bleeding around the area of the gums, while others develop gum pockets which must be carefully monitored, and still others undergo a loss of bone if the disease gets to an advanced stage.
During periodontal maintenance, any gum pockets must be irrigated with antibacterial medications so they don’t become infected, and all the plaque which has built up both above the gum line and below it, must be chipped away. In some cases, periodontal maintenance is covered by your dental insurance. Periodontal maintenance must be performed three or four times annually, to make sure that the disease is held in check.
What is a regular cleaning?
A regular dental cleaning is the reason that most people visit their dentist twice each year, and during this visit a preventative cleaning is performed, which will help to prevent the formation of cavities, as well as any symptoms of gum disease. During a regular cleaning, your hygienist will remove all plaque from your teeth, and look closely for the formation of any new cavities since your previous visit. If any are found, it will be necessary to schedule another appointment to fill those cavities.
Most insurance companies consider regular cleanings to be part of normal dentistry, and will therefore provide coverage for the procedure. If you don’t have dental insurance, you can ask about HollowBrook Dental’s Cash Savings Plan. For most people, two visits for regular cleaning are sufficient to maintain healthy teeth, and monitor any developments in the patient’s mouth. However, some people build up plaque faster than others, and in these cases, it may be necessary to schedule additional regular cleanings during the year to have it removed.