Scaling and root planing involves cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus from the periodontal pockets and smooth root and remove bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is often followed by adjunctive therapy including locally delivered antibiotics. Scaling and root planing is performed under local anesthetic with ultrasonic cleaners along with scaling instruments. A skilled dental hygienist does this procedure.
See link: scaling/root planing
Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist and our office will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime.
As you have learned, you are susceptible to gum disease. And, you have probably learned, too, that the main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins, or poisons, which constantly attack your gums and teeth. Unless plaque is removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will help to minimize the formation of calculus, but it won't completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease from two to four months after your last professional cleaning. Therefore, a dental professional must check for hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque at time intervals appropriate for you so that your teeth and gums stay healthy
Traditionally surgery was the only viable option for treating severe periodontal disease. Other non-surgical treatments were limited by the inability of the to see under the gum line. But what if it were possible to see under the gum line without surgically opening the gum? Well, now we have Perioscopy!
Perioscopy is the way that a few selected periodontal offices are able to see under the gum by providing high magnification to perform non-surgical cleansings using micro ultrasonic instruments. This minimally invasive technique is a similar advancement to the many medical procedures now performed with the aid of small camera placed into all areas of the body.
The Perioscope is a long 1 mm diameter flexible fiber-optic that is attached to a high magnification video camera and viewing screen. Under local anesthesia this micro-visual cleaning is done without any cutting of the gum. Additional local or systemic antimicrobials/antibiotics can also enhance the results. When the patient uses Advil, Tylenol or any over-the-counter pain medication there is very little discomfort, if any, after the numbness wears off.
Many patients have benefited from this treatment all over the world. If patients have less pocketing and bone loss, and if they can remain stable with follow up care, periodontal infection can be controlled in a very minimally invasive way, with less cost than surgical treatment. The practice of Perioscopy is growing and spreading throughout dentistry. We are always seeking out the best ways to provide treatment for our patients and using the Perioscope is helping us achieve "healing through a better vision."
For more information on Perioscopy, see: Perioscopy