Preventive Care

  • Regular cleaning ( scaling )

Regular cleaning is for patients with healthy gum and patients diagnosed with gingivitis.  It removes soft ( dental plaque ) and hard ( tartar ) dental buildup effectively.    We use both Cavitron ( a water-spraying hygiene instrument that has unnoticeable vibration on the tip to remove the buildups ) and hand instruments ( to remove any leftover spicules of buildups ).    With regular cleaning and good homecare ( brush and floss daily ), your gum should recover from gingivitis in a week or so.   

  • Deep cleaning ( root planing ) for gum disease

If you are diagnosed with gum disease which means you have gum pockets of 4mm and more, deep cleaning ( root planning ) is indicated.  The dentist or the hygienist will numb your gum first, then clean the tartar attached on the roots below the gumline and inside the pocket.   The time required is longer than a regular cleaning ( scaling ) as tartar on the root surfaces is tenacious and the access inside the narrow perio pocket is limited.   Antibacterial rinse 0.12% Peridex will be used to rinse the gum pockets at the end of the procedure.   One week after the deep cleaning, patient returns to the office for follow up evaluation.  Pocket depth will be measured and reduction should be observed in most cases.   A majority of patients diagnosed with gum disease at the beginning will be put on perio maintenance program and be seen every 3 or 4 months for professional cleaning; some patients might need to be evaluated for surgical intervention of the refractory gum disease. 

  • Maintenance cleaning for gum disease ( perio maintenance program )

Perio maintenance program is for patients diagnosed with gum disease who went through the initial treatment, ie. deep cleaning and return for professional cleaning every 3 or 4 months instead of 6 months.   The dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth, especially the root surfaces in the perio pockets to remove as much bacterial products as possible there.   Your gum will be measured once a year to monitor the progress of the gum disease and treatment suggestion will be made accordingly.  

  • Adjunctive medicated treatment of gum disease ( Arrestin )

Arestin® is a bioresorbable paste containing minocycline (a tetracycline derivative that inhibits bacterial growth ) that has been FDA approved for treating gum disease after a deep cleaning procedure.   When placed in periodontal pocket, Arestin® maintains a high-level of antibiotic concentration in the gum pockets which sustained-releases day by day for up to 2 weeks.  Adjunctive to deep cleaning procedure to treat gum disease, Arestin can reach areas deeper in the gum pockets generally untouched by dental instruments to help fight infection and aid gum healing.  

Instructions after Arrestin placement is purposed to keep it in the pocket for as long as possible, which include no eating or drinking for 30 minutes; avoid touching the treated areas; wait 12 hours after your treatment before brushing teeth; wait 10 days before using floss etc devices to clean the treated area; after 10 days, resume cleaning between the treated teeth on a daily basis etc.  Remember, home care is equally, if not more, important as the professional cleaning and Arrestin placement in the dental office.   The patient must brush at least 2 times and floss every day to do his/her part in maintaining the oral hygiene, or else any treatment of gum disease in the dental office will not receive an effective result.