• March 16, 2017

Did you know??

In January, 2017 the American Dental Association introduced a new type of cleaning to help clinicians provide better care to their patients. In past years, there were only three types of cleanings:  a prophy, scaling and root planing, and periodontal maintenance.

  1. A prophy is indicated for patients with generally healthy gum tissue and bone support.
  2. Scaling and root planing is indicated for patients who have unhealthy gum tissue that have lost bone support.
  3. Periodontal maintenance is the type of cleaning that follows scaling and root planning. It’s purpose is to maintain the health of gum tissue after scaling and root planing.

These offerings left a gap in treatment options for providers. In the past, clinicians had to choose between providing a prophy or scaling and root planing for patients who’s condition fell in-between these categories.

Dr. Tracy Treats a Patient

So what about the patients who do not fall into either of these categories?

These are patients who have not lost bone support yet, but have unhealthy gum tissue. This led to one of two occurrences: undertreating or overtreating patients. A new type of cleaning procedure has been introduced by the American Dental Association to take care of that problem. A new category has been added! Hooray!

The title of this new cleaning is “Scaling in the Presence of Moderate to Severe Gingivitis.” It is indicated for patients who have generalized gingivitis but have not lost any bone support. In order to be considered “generalized,” more than 30% of a patient’s gingiva shows signs of inflammation (bleeding, puffiness and gum pocket measurements of 4+ mm).

We always strive to provide the best care for our patients at Willow Lake Dental, and we are thrilled about this new cleaning category!