Follow-Up (Maintenance) Care
Why is follow-up necessary? We cannot tell you how many patients we have consulted with over the past several years that have had periodontal treatment in the past but failed to stay on a regular follow-up or maintenance schedule. The disease was under control for a time, but it eventually returned due to bacteria repopulation. Whether the recommended treatment is non-surgical or surgical in nature, without follow-up care, the results will dissipate over time.
Research indicates that patients who have had periodontal treatment for gum disease should follow a maintenance program every three months with their periodontist and/or dentist. Why so often? It takes roughly three months for the harmful bacteria involved with gum disease to repopulate a mouth after a routine cleaning. The theory is if a person has his or her teeth cleaned every three months, then the bacteria are not allowed to repopulate and cause continued destruction. Failing to follow a three-month maintenance program will not only cause gum disease to return, but it will also result in patients having to invest more money for additional procedures that may not have been necessary had they maintained their oral health.