Examination – The examination is a complete visual inspection of the oral cavity along with any necessary x-rays. Screening for oral cancer and periodontal disease is part of the exam.
Cleaning (oral prophylaxis) – Cleaning is a preventative procedure. It is typically done on those individuals who visit the dentist regularly and who do not build up much calculus and stain. The cleaning appointment should be an easy visit. If a patient has had a long treatment gap between dental visits, or if they tend to build up large amounts of calculus or stain, or if their home care is especially lax, a “cleaning” may not be appropriate. Conservative periodontal therapy may be the treatment of choice.
Periodontal Therapy – Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. We screen every patient for periodontal disease and provide conservative, non-surgical therapy for those patients for whom it is appropriate, which is called Scaling, Root Planing and Debridement.
Periodontal Maintenance – After periodontal therapy, a patient is usually seen for maintenance visits (not ” cleanings”, though similar), on a more frequent schedule than that of a routine dental patient. We typically see “perio” patients 3 to 4 times a year, and for those patients who have been treated for advanced periodontal disease, we often alternate maintenance visits with their periodontist.