Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings, What are they and what’s involved?

Most people are familiar with the general dental cleanings (commonly called a prophy or prophylaxis) that you receive when you go to the dentist for your routine check-up. Dental exams and check-ups are generally done every six months or as frequently as allowed by your dental insurance provider. However, if you have periodontal disease present, the frequency of your visits will increase. Having periodontal disease means that you have developed periodontal “pockets” and a “deep cleaning” is in order. 

deep cleaning for Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

A deep cleaning sometimes called SRP (short for scaling and root planing), is a cleaning that can get below the gum line and help get rid of the bacteria that is present in the form of tartar and plaque. This bacteria if not controlled, can grow and multiply rapidly. If left untreated for some time, periodontal disease can lead to multiple problems including but not limited to chronic inflammation. After you complete the initial deep cleaning process, the hygienist and dentist can evaluate your progress. Once there is documented improvement, periodontal maintenance cleanings are recommended at intervals suited for your condition of periodontal disease as well as other health conditions. Some conditions included are heart disease and diabetes. Periodontal maintenance cleanings are more involved than regular cleanings. Periodontal maintenance cleanings target the periodontal “pockets” that have formed and help maintain the health of the gum and bone. Your dentust must be aware of all of your medical conditions. What happens in one part of the body can affect another area. Clear, effective communication is the key to improving your health.  

patient learning about Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

Scheduling and keeping on schedule with your periodontal maintenance cleanings is going to be extremely important. Also, excellent home care including, brushing and flossing are vital. All of these things together will help maintain the health of your gums, bone, and ultimately, your teeth. Periodontal maintenance cleanings are cleanings done at more frequent intervals (somewhere between 3 to 4 times per year). Doing these cleanings more frequently will help keep periodontal disease under control. The end goal is to put periodontal disease into remission. That, however, will require work on your part. 

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Although dental terminology can be confusing and intimidating, don’t let it be. Important to realize is that the health of your mouth is our top priority. Leave the big words and insurance questions to us! We want you to understand that all of us at Nebraska Family Dentistry take your health seriously. Therefore, we will do what it takes to get you back to where you need to be even if you need a deep cleaning followed by periodontal maintenance.

An excellent thing to take away from any visit after hearing the term “periodontal disease” is to schedule the recommended appointments, attend your scheduled appointments, and follow each visit up with excellent home care. While the dentist and hygienist can do his/her job in the office, their job can’t be complete without your commitment, too. We know that being able to understand everything that’s involved when it comes to dentistry can be complicated.

dental cleaning patient

When would you need Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings instead of Routine Cleanings?

  • Swollen and Irritated Gums
  • Receding Gum Line
  • Bad Breath
  • Pus Between Teeth and Gums
  • Recent Irregular Bite
  • Sensitive Gums
  • Loose Teeth
    and more…

So, here’s a quick look at what Periodontal Maintenance is all about when compared to a regular, routine cleaning…

Regular, Annual 
Cleanings (Prophylaxis)
Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) with 
Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings
Frequency: Completed in one visit. Typically, every six months or as frequently as allowed by your dental insurance provider. 

Surfaces Cleaned: All visible surfaces, including the surfaces in between the teeth.

Insurance Coverage: Annual cleanings are typically a covered service with any dental carrier.

Gum Pocket measurements: Less than 4mm.
These are the measurements that your hygienist will take at your check-up to make sure you have not developed periodontal disease. Sometimes these are called 
“probe depths.”
Frequency:  Initial Deep Cleaning requires two visits 
Left side completed at one visit 
Right side completed at a subsequent visit
Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings are typically done 3-4 times per year (frequency determined by Hygienist/Dentist) and is based on several factors including inflammation, how quickly tartar and plaque build-up, and how stable the present condition is.
Once a deep cleaning is performed, and periodontal maintenance cleanings begin, a great home care plan is crucial to maintain the overall health of your mouth.

Surfaces Cleaned: All visible surfaces, surfaces between the teeth, and periodontal pockets that are not visible to the naked eye.

Insurance coverage: Periodontal Maintenance is usually considered a basic service and is typically covered. Besides periodontal maintenance cleanings may be subject to a yearly deductible as specified by your dental insurance carrier.

Gum Pocket Measurements: Greater than or deeper than 4mm.

Here are a few commonly asked questions about Periodontal Maintenance…

Is periodontal maintenance necessary? 

Periodontal maintenance is used to help control inflammation and irritation. While regular cleanings are preventive, periodontal maintenance treats the disease in its active state. If periodontal cleanings of any kind are recommended, listen to advice from trained medical professionals.

What is periodontal treatment & maintenance?

If you have periodontal disease, you will likely require a deep cleaning also called scaling and root planing followed by periodontal maintenance to help keep periodontal disease in check.

Does periodontal cleaning hurt?

For some, particularly those who don’t have very deep periodontal gum pockets, they generally feel little to no discomfort during or even after the procedure. On occasion, some patients say that they may have mild discomfort during and after the procedure.

What is the cost for Periodontal Disease Treatment, Deep Cleaning? 

The cost for treatment of gum disease, deep cleaning in Lincoln Nebraska is usually around $1200 for your entire mouth, but with the Lincoln Dental Plans discount, your deep cleaning treatment for Periodontal disease would be discounted at 20%.

How often do you need periodontal maintenance?

The frequency of periodontal maintenance cleanings are based upon the condition of your disease. The frequency can range from having maintenance cleanings every few weeks to every six months.

Now that the information about periodontal maintenance cleanings is clear, an excellent thing for you to do is to follow through. If you have been told you have periodontal disease, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Our dental group takes your health seriously, and we want to see you smile again. We are here to help. Rest assured, we will be by your side every step of the way. It’s our promise to you!

LDP Annual Plan $395 Per Year

Annual Plan Benefits
For Lincoln Dental Plans

All X-rays
Comprehensive Exam
2 Emergency Exams
2 Routine Dental Cleanings (Every 12 Months)
25% Discount on Select Procedures

LDP offers discounts on the following procedures:

Regular Cleanings
Deep Cleanings
Periodontal Maintenance
Dental Crowns (Excludes Cosmetic Crowns)
White Fillings
Root Canals
Professional Teeth Whitening

Learn More about Lincoln Dental Plans Membership

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Lincoln Dental Plan is Accepted at Multiple Dental Clinics.
Choose Lincoln Dental group near you.