This is the third of four things to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
Part 3: Hygiene appointments at the dentist
We all understand you would like to go to the dentist the least amount of times as possible. Your hygiene appointment interval should be tailored to your individual needs. The care of your teeth and gums is a partnership between you and your hygienist. The more you can do at home the less the hygienist has to do for you. If you have only 1-3mm gum pockets with no bleeding and no bad bugs then you may only have to go every 6 or even 12 months.
But if you have occasional bleeding gums, bad breath, gum pockets over 4mm (which you can not effectively treat at home), or bad bugs on the office microscopic test, then more frequent periodontal (gum) therapy sessions are required to eradicate the bad bugs and infection in your gums before they have a chance to destroy your jaw bone.
Our Initial Diagnostic Therapy sessions (what other dental offices may call a “routine cleaning”) are where every patient starts in our practice. This appointment starts with a thorough check of the health of the gums by measuring the gum pockets looking for bleeding, a microscopic bug check, and soft and hard tissue examination of health. Later we polish the full mouth to reduce the numbers of bacteria, use minimal scaling and gentle irrigation with a microsonic unit. Oral hygiene instructions on how to take care of your teeth and gums at home and nutritional helpful guidelines are given to help the patient achieve the best results.
We are striving together for “perfect tissues” , which are 1-3mm gum pockets, no bleeding on probing and no bad bugs on the microscopic test.
If you have gum pockets that you cannot clean at home due to depth of the pockets (greater than 4mm), difficult access areas to clean at home because of access or dental work, then the gum treatment session may include Periodontal Therapy appointments. These appointments are used to clean and debride the deeper gum pockets of bad bugs and inflamed tissue. The sessions include all the treatments of the Initial Diagnostic Therapy appointments plus anesthesia as needed by the patient, soft tissue low level laser therapy and deeper scaling and root cleaning.
All the periodontal therapy sessions are meant to comfortably clean and debride your mouth to achieve optimal health and vitality and teach you to maintain this health for a lifetime.