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America’s Dental Expert
Deep Cleanings for Life
The term “deep cleaning” is an unfortunate description for what dentists and dental hygienists call periodontal maintenance.
Periodontal maintenance is a dental cleaning AFTER treatment. A “regular” dental cleaning implies there has never been periodontal treatment performed.
When do patients receive periodontal maintenance instead of prophylaxis (a “regular cleaning”)? Periodontal maintenance is performed after scaling and root planing, which is therapy to treat moderate to severe gum disease, or periodontitis.
Once you go through periodontal therapy, the healthy environment needs to be maintained. So, once you go through treatment and have subsequent maintenance appointments (deep cleanings) you will ALWAYS have maintenance appointments.
This is like a one-way street past the point of no return. Once you have a deep cleaning, every cleaning appointment after that, for the rest of your life, should be considered a deep cleaning periodontal maintenance.
There’s no turning back, unfortunately. And this isn’t just me saying this. That is what the American Dental Association requires, as described in the Code of Dental Procedures and Nomenclature.
Do you have a dental question for America’s Dental Expert?
Send your dental and other oral health related questions to America’s Dental Expert, Dr. Shawn Van de Vyver, at DrVan@americandentalexpert.com