When you hear the phrase gum disease, what comes to mind? Many people picture individuals with a severely receded gum line, unhealthy teeth, and missing teeth. While gum disease can lead to these, and other complications, it does not immediately start this way. These significant issues can be prevented if proper care is taken right away. One way Fern Creek Dentistry can help you prevent the more substantial effects of gum disease is with periodontal maintenance.
Does Everyone Need Periodontal Maintenance?
Not everyone needs periodontal maintenance. Many people only require regular biannual cleanings, also called prophylaxis. Periodontal maintenance visits are recommended for those who have been diagnosed with gum disease, and who may have already undergone a treatment to help put a stop to its spread.
So, Why Do I Need Periodontal Maintenance?
If you have been recommended periodontal maintenance, it is because you have been diagnosed with gum disease. Whereas routine cleaning only cleans the visible crowns of your teeth, a periodontal maintenance visit involves a deeper cleaning. In addition to cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth, we also clean the teeth below the gumline. This is done to help maintain your oral health following a gum disease diagnosis, preventing you from suffering from gum recession, tooth loss, and other health-related consequences.
Why Do I Need More Frequent Visits?
You may have been told that you need to have periodontal maintenance visits more frequently than you would need to have regular cleanings. Periodontal maintenance visits are typically recommended every 3 to 4 months, meaning you would need to have 3 to 4 cleanings a year. More frequent visits are often recommended to help improve your oral health and then maintain it. More frequent cleanings prevent too much buildup from accumulating on your teeth and below the gumline. Depending upon your circumstances, it may be possible to have your periodontal maintenance visits spread out as far as every 6 months.
Even if your periodontal health is brought back under control, and your maintenance visits are only every 6 months, typically you will always receive periodontal maintenance visits. This is because once you develop the more advanced stages of gum disease, the condition never truly goes away. However, with proper oral care and regular maintenance appointments, you can actively work to keep your mouth healthy. In doing so, you will prevent gum disease from worsening, meaning you avoid the need for more invasive, expensive care.
Is Periodontal Maintenance Covered by Insurance?
Many dental insurance companies will provide at least some coverage for periodontal maintenance visits. They are billed differently than routine cleanings. Depending upon your insurance company, periodontal maintenance may be covered completely, or you may be responsible for a certain portion. If you are uncertain of whether or not your insurance plan covers these important visits, you can always review your policy or contact the company to make sure.
Following your periodontal maintenance treatment plan is crucial for protecting the health of your mouth and preventing the more serious consequences that gum disease can cause. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Fern Creek Dentistry at (704) 380-9555 today.