Periodontal Treatment: Maintenance Cleanings

perio treatment maintenance cleaning post

In general, most people are familiar with the standard dental cleaning they receive when going in for your check-up. These cleanings are also referred to as a prophylaxis or prophy. Dental check-ups and exams are generally done every six months or as often as permitted by your dental insurance. But, if you have periodontal disease present, the frequency of your visits will be at increased intervals. If you have periodontal disease, this means that you have developed periodontal “pockets.” Therefore, a periodontal treatment in the form of a deep cleaning is necessary. 

periodontal treatment diagram

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A deep cleaning, which is sometimes referred to as SRP, short for scaling and root planing, is a cleaning that gets below the gum line. A deep cleaning helps eliminate bacteria present in the form of plaque and tartar. If not controlled, this bacteria can grow and multiply at a rapid rate leading to multiple problems. These problems could include but are not limited to, chronic inflammation. 

Once you complete the initial deep cleaning process, your hygienist and dentist will evaluate your progress. When there is documented improvement, we will recommend periodontal treatment in the form of maintenance cleanings at intervals for both your condition of periodontal disease and other health conditions already present. Some conditions included are diabetes and heart disease. Periodontal maintenance cleanings, unlike regular cleanings, are more involved. Periodontal maintenance cleanings specifically target the periodontal “pockets.” These deep cleanings help maintain the health of the bone and gum. It is essential, however, that you make your dentist aware of all of your medical conditions. Ultimately, what happens in one area of the body can, in turn, affect another. Clear, concise, and effective communication is critical for improving your overall health and well-being.  

diabetes and periodontal gum disease are closely related in Lincoln NE

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Keeping a strict schedule with any type of periodontal maintenance is vital. Excellent home care is also critical. This includes flossing and brushing. Together, all of these things will help maintain your bone, gums, and, ultimately, your teeth. It is essential to know that Periodontal maintenance cleanings are cleanings done at intervals, which are more frequent than routine cleanings. Typically, these cleanings are done somewhere between three to four times annually. With more frequent cleanings, we can better manage periodontal disease. Ultimately, the end goal is to put periodontal disease into remission. But, that will require hard work on your part. 

Although dental terminology can be intimidating and confusing, don’t get too caught up in it. It’s imperative to realize that the health of your mouth is our priority. Let us do the hard work; leave the long, hard to understand words to us! What we want you to know is that all of us at South Lincoln Family Dentistry take your health seriously. We will do what it takes to make sure you understand what kind of treatment is necessary, how many appointments will be needed, and ultimately, make sure you feel comfortable with any treatment we have suggested. What about the cost? We’ll be sure to explain that, too!

We want to get you back to where you need to be! This means that even if you need a deep cleaning followed by periodontal maintenance cleanings, we’ve got you covered. One of the most vital things to take away from any dental visit after hearing the term “periodontal disease” is to schedule any necessary appointments. Consequently, it’s critical that you attend your scheduled appointments, AND be sure to follow up after every visit with thorough home care. While the hygienist and dentist can do his/her job in the clinic, their job isn’t fully finished without your commitment and hard work. We understand that trying to make sense of everything involved in dentistry can be complicated; we promise to help lighten any load you might feel along the way. So, whether you have questions about the treatment plan, finances, or anything else, we are here for YOU!

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman talking about periodontal treatment to patient


  • Irritated, Swollen Gums
  • Receding Gum Line
  • Bad Breath, also known as Halitosis
  • Pus Between Gums and Teeth
  • Irregular Bite, which has recently occurred
  • Sensitive gums
  • Loose Teeth

Learn More about the Various Types of Dental Cleanings

dental chair for periodontal treatment


Regular, Annual Cleanings (Prophylaxis) 

Frequency: Completed in one visit. Typically, every six months or as frequently as allowed by your dental insurance provider. 

Surfaces Cleaned: All visible surfaces, which includes the surfaces in between the teeth.

Insurance Coverage: Annual cleanings are typically a covered service with any dental carrier.

Gum Pocket measurements: Less than 4mm. Gum pocket measurements are measurements that your hygienist takes at your routine check-up to ensure you have not developed periodontal disease. Often, you might hear these measurements referred to as “probe depths.” 

Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) with Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

Frequency:  An initial deep cleaning will require two visits.

The left side will be completed at one visit.

The right side completed at a subsequent follow-up visit.

Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings are usually done 3-4 times per year, and your hygienist and dentist determine that frequency. Periodontal maintenance cleanings are based on several factors, including how quickly tartar and plaque build-up, inflammation, and the stability of the present condition.

Once a deep cleaning has been performed, and periodontal maintenance cleanings have begun, a great home care plan is vital to maintaining your mouth’s overall health.

Surfaces Cleaned: All surfaces between the teeth, any visible surfaces, and any periodontal pockets are not visible to the human eye.

Insurance coverage: Periodontal Maintenance is generally considered a basic service, and is likely covered. Also, something to keep in mind is that periodontal maintenance cleanings might be subject to a yearly deductible. The amount of this deductible varies per plan and will be specified by your dental insurance provider.

Gum Pocket Measurements: Greater than or deeper than 4mm.


young woman thinking of periodontal treatment

Is periodontal maintenance needed or necessary? 

Periodontal maintenance is used to help control irritation and inflammation. Regular cleanings are preventive and periodontal maintenance helps treat the disease in its current, active state. If periodontal cleanings are recommended, you must listen. Heed advice from trained medical professionals and follow their recommendations.

mature man smiling after periodontal treatment

What is periodontal maintenance & treatment?

If you have periodontal disease, it is highly likely that you will need a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is also commonly called scaling and root planing. Typically, this deep cleaning will be followed up with periodontal maintenance to help control periodontal disease.

woman thinking of periodontal treatment

Do periodontal cleanings hurt?

For some, in particular, those whose periodontal pockets are not deep, they generally experience little to no discomfort during or after the procedure. On occasion, however, some patients have said that they may experience mild discomfort during or after the procedure.

bright smile from young man after periodontal treatment

What is the cost for a Deep Cleaning or Periodontal Disease Treatment?

The cost of gum disease treatment, typically a deep cleaning in Lincoln, Nebraska, generally is around $1200. The $1200 would include your entire mouth.

mature woman and bright smile after periodontal treatment

How often will I need periodontal treatment in the form of perio maintenance?

The frequency of necessary periodontal treatment in the form of maintenance cleanings is based upon the current condition of your disease. The frequency can vary, however, and could range from every six months to as frequent as every few weeks.

Now that periodontal maintenance cleaning information is clear, the number one thing you can do for yourself is to follow through. If you have periodontal disease or you’ve been told you have periodontal disease, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. At South Lincoln Family Dentistry, our team takes your health seriously, and we want to see you smile again. We are here to help. So, rest assured that we will be by your side every single step of the way. It’s our promise!