Non-surgical therapy involves the careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth in the deep periodontal pockets. The roots of the teeth are smoothed in order to remove bacterial toxins. Root planing is a very difficult procedure to do properly and requires extensive specialized training and knowledge of root anatomy to do properly.
Periodontal disease is bacterial in nature. It can often be controlled by reducing or eliminating the harmful bacteria that cause the disease. Oral antibiotics may be used as an adjunct to scaling and root planing. Gum disease cannot be treated with antibiotics alone. Antibiotics can be prescribed in pill form or it can be directly applied to an infected gum pocket. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also be recommended. Not all periodontal treatments require antibiotics.
Periodontal maintenance is what many may call a regular cleaning. It is a non surgical therapy that is carried out once your periodontal disease is stabilized and under control. No one with active periodontal disease should be on a maintenance program. Periodontal maintenance occurs every 2 to 6 months depending on your needs and your Periodontist will customize a program for you.