After active periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing and/or periodontal surgery) the patient will enter a schedule of periodontal maintenance. This is usually achieved every three to four months.
Periodontal maintenance along with an appropriate home care regimen (brushing, flossing, rubber tip, proxybrush, and frequency) are the key elements required for the longevity of successful periodontal treatment results.
Since periodontal disease is a chronic, bacterial infection, it requires ongoing therapy. It cannot be cured therefore it must be controlled and stabilized.
This is the rationale for the three to four month periodontal maintenance recall. The periodontal pathogens colonize and at 90 to 100 days they become the predominant bacterial species capable of causing more active periodontal disease destruction.
For periodontal patients a regular six month cleaning is not appropriate. During a periodontal maintenance visit plaque and tartar are removed above and below the gum line to the depth of the pockets. Roots are planed smooth, and periodontal pockets are carefully monitored and recorded. Oral hygiene instructions are also given and reinforced. Any problem areas are identified and treatment planned. Necessary radiographs are taken. If there are no problem areas and the periodontal status is stable then the patient will schedule their next three to four month periodontal maintenance.