We recommend adult patients receive a standard cleaning at least two times a year. A standard cleaning includes an adult dental prophylaxis (basic cleaning), X-rays and an exam by one of the dentists. The hygienist will perform a periodontal screening, which includes measuring the space between your tooth and gums to diagnose your periodontal condition.
Because periodontal disease is painless, three-quarters of the general population have some form of the disease and are unaware. If the measurements and other factors, such as bleeding and mobility, indicate that you have periodontal disease, you may require a more extensive cleaning – known as scaling and root planning -- that goes deeper under your gums. Most of the time, we are able to keep you comfortable during these procedures with local anaesthesia.
In some cases, we will recommend the use of an antibiotic that is placed directly in those deeper pockets. This antibiotic helps to eliminate the bacteria that hide in those deep pockets, and encourages the re-attachment of the gingiva. We prefer Arestin, a tetracycline-type antibiotic that works very well against the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
Once you have had a scaling and root planing procedure done, you will be placed on periodontal maintenance. The maintenance procedures may be required at a shorter interval – typically, three to four months – than someone who has normal periodontal health. If your periodontal health improves to a point in which you can manage with home care, sometimes a six-month interval can be re-established.