Review and Maintenance
After having time to heal, your periodontist will check the health of the gums. This is called reassessment. If the treatment has been successful, a maintenance program begins. This is known as supportive periodontal care, which is STEP 4.
STEP 4 is essential to ensure the gums remain healthy and disease does not return. If disease returns, further destruction of the gums and bone can occur.
In around 40% of cases no further treatment is needed. But in some cases, bleeding gums and deep pockets might continue to be present. If so, further treatment is needed. This is STEP 3.
In STEP 3, step 1 & 2 can often be repeated. Or surgical periodontal treatment may be recommended. Common reasons for surgery include:
- - To improve access to cleaning in difficult areas, such as the surfaces of the tooth roots.
- - To make cleaning easier (pocket depth reduction).
- - To reverse the damage (regenerative procedures).
- - Graft tissue into areas where disease has caused the gum and bone tissues to be lost.
Again, the gums need to be reviewed to see the results of treatment. When goals are achieved, you enter STEP 4, known as the maintenance or supportive phase.
The long-term success of treatment for periodontal disease is a partnership. It relies on your own efforts at home with optimal cleaning and those of the dental team who provide your ongoing checks and regular care.