At W.C. Periodontics our registered dental hygienists (RDH) are all licensed dental professionals who specialize in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Dental hygienists provide three types of services to our patients. The first of these is preventive services to promote and maintain good oral health. The second is educational services to help our patients develop behaviors that promote better oral health and help them understand the importance of practicing these behaviors. The third type of service provided is therapeutic services which are treatments meant to stop disease and maintain healthy tissues in the mouth. Common procedures and services performed by hygienists include Periodontal Maintenance, Oral Hygiene Instructions, Scaling and Root Planing for patients with Periodontal Disease, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, placement of certain antibiotics, and providing instructions for proper oral hygiene and care.
Our dental hygienists work together with our doctors who work with your dentist to contribute to a co-therapist environment, while providing optimum oral health care to achieve the ultimate in dental health care and therapy for our patients.
Once a patient is diagnosed with Periodontal Disease they are now and forever considered a "Periodontal Patient". If you have Diabetes or high blood pressure, you will always be evaluated by your doctor to prevent progression of the disease. A patient diagnosed with cancer, high blood pressure and/or Diabetes, doesn’t just get treated and then never see their doctor for regular preventive measures. This is the same protocol for patients diagnosed with Periodontal Disease. For that reason the doctor will recommend a regular recall schedule for your periodontal maintenance visit. This visit may be alternated with a maintenance visit to your dentist.
Oral Hygiene Instructions
In addition to regular maintenance visits a daily oral hygiene regimen is needed to remove the dental plague that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Proper flossing and brushing techniques can make all the difference in achieving and maintaining dental health. Practicing good oral hygiene at home is an important piece of the oral hygiene puzzle; we can share with you the techniques and tools best suited for you.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and Root Planing is a nonsurgical procedure, done under a local anesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing is done if Dr. Witkin, Dr. Centurion, and Dr. Besu determine that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.
Plaque is a soft, sticky mixture of bacteria, waste products from bacteria, and some food debris. It irritates the gums, or gingiva, and causes inflammation over time: gingivitis. The longer plaque is left on the teeth, the harder it gets. After 24 hours, some plaque hardens into calculus, otherwise known as tartar. Calculus is mineralized plaque and does not come off with the brush and floss anymore. The bacteria in plaque and calculus cause an ongoing state of inflammation called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious disease called periodontitis. The most common treatment for periodontitis is scaling and root planing.