Contour • Restore • Preserve

2100 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940 831-375-4242

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Are there different kinds of Dental Hygiene Cleanings?


A Regular Dental Cleaning is also called a prophylaxis; it is the removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from tooth structures where there is no bone loss, gum disease, bleeding, infection or loose teeth.

How often do I need to have my teeth cleaned?  In 1940, a toothpaste commercial informed the public that they needed to visit the dentist twice per year! Today this idea has fallen out of favor, since research shows that only some can maintain their health with semi-annual cleanings. Many find their teeth and gums are healthier when they have their teeth cleaned more often, which may be as often as four times per year.  If deep pockets, bone loss, or infection is present, more extensive treatment may be recommended.

A Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning is a more detailed, on-going procedure for people who have had root planning, debridement and/or gum surgery. These delicate root surfaces require careful scaling and irrigation down into deep pockets to remove bacteria and toxins from those surfaces.  While it may seem like the same procedure as a regular dental cleaning (prophylaxis), the instrumentation, products and techniques are much more involved.

Do I need periodontal maintenance?

When gum disease is discovered, further treatment will be recommended. Treatment can include either non-surgical methods (root planning or root debridement) or surgical procedures performed by a periodontal gum specialist.  Periodontal maintenance is the on-going cleaning necessary for patients who have been treated for periodontal disease.

Does it cost more? Does my insurance cover it?

Yes, there are additional costs for periodontal maintenance visits. Insurance companies recognize the necessity for periodontal maintenance. However, their payment for those procedures is dependent on the plan your employer pays for, not based on the necessity of the procedure.

Regular dental hygiene visits will help prevent dental disease by removing plaque, calculus and bacteria. Your dental care team at Monterey Dental Contours remains committed to early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease.

More questions?  Just ask at your next visit!