Cost of Periodontal Maintenance

Have you recently been told by your dentist that you have periodontal disease, or gum disease, and now you are worried about all of the treatment procedures in your future. This is an experience faced by many Americans each year. The good news is that if you start getting the treatments you need now, it will potentially save you from needing more invasive treatments in the future. Treatments for gum disease are often very effective, and it is possible, if you follow your dentist’s instructions, that you can reverse some of the damage to your gums and teeth that have been done. A good place to start is getting more informed about what exactly is involved in periodontal treatment and what the estimated costs of treatments are.

What is Periodontal disease?

While periodontal disease is often referred to as gum disease, it is actually an infection in any of the structures in the mouth that support the teeth, but not in the actual teeth themselves. This can include the gums, tissues, and/or bones of the mouth.

The first stage of periodontal disease, called gingivitis, only affects the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis may include bleeding and swollen gums, bad breath, pain when chewing, and recession of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to the other structures in the mouth and overtime, cause tooth or bone loss.

Treatment options for periodontal disease

Treating periodontal disease is usually broken down into three phases. The first phase is focused on minimizing the risks that may have caused the infection, controlling the infection, and learning how to take care of your oral care to stop the progression of the infection. Treatment procedures such as scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning procedure, will be done to try to get the infection under control. For individuals with more advanced disease, surgery may be required. After these initial phases, the maintenance phase is focused on preventing the infection from coming back in the future. Without attentive maintenance, periodontal disease has a high rate of recurrence.

Periodontal maintenance and expected costs

The maintenance period of care is dictated by your dentist. They will give you an in-home oral hygiene regime to follow. You will also likely see the dentist more regularly for periodontal maintenance cleanings, as often as every 3 months.  These deep cleanings cost more than regular dental cleanings, and the costs are estimated to be between $140 and $300. You may experience some bleeding, but you should be able to resume normal eating and drinking later that day.

Your doctor may also prescribe medications, including either antibiotics you can take orally, or antibiotics in gel form that you’ll apply topically to your gums. These medications are often not enough on their own to treat periodontal disease, but they can help fight the infection and help reduce the pockets.

The extra treatments, medications, and visits to the dentist mean extra costs for you. It is important to remember that this extra spending is not just about saving your teeth and gums, but that periodontal disease is linked to other serious health conditions. Taking care of your oral health means taking care of your health, and you are worth it.

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