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Maintenance

 
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It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)!  Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.

Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, Dr. FitzPatrick and his staff will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (Supportive Periodontal Therapy), usually four times a year (often alternating with the office of the general dentist).  At these maintenance appointments, the probing depths and presence of pockets will be carefully checked. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed.

A recent study has demonstrated that periodontal patients who fail to follow through with regular maintenance visits, under the care of a periodontist, can be as much as fifty times more likely to have recurrance of disease.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
  • Application of fluoride if needed,

Specific plaque control practices aimed at the patient's unique circumstances, taught by Dr. FitzPatrick and his staff, as well as properly spaced periodontal cleanings, are essential for maintaining periodontal health and keeping periodontal disease under control!

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