Dr. Christopher Chow
Dr. Victor H. Zuercher, Jr.
1441 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 706
Honolulu, HI 96814
Root Planing, Periodontal Maintenance and a “Prophy” just aren’t the same
The health of a person’s mouth is now known to be very important to his/her general health. Recent studies show that there is a definite link between oral heatlh and certain heart conditions and other systemic diseases. Dentist and dental hygienist are required to provide patients with the best information and treatment they know. It isn’t in the best interest of the patient to perform treatment that is inadequate or inappropriate just because “it’s not covered by my insurance”. Root planning, periodontal maintenance and a regular “teeth cleaning” (often called “prophy”) just aren’t the same.
What is “teeth cleaning”? (Often known as “prophy”)
A “professional teeth cleaning” is the removal of plaque, calculus (also known as tartar), and stains from the tooth structures not covered by gum in a healthy mouth. It is accomplished using dental instruments that scrape away deposits from the teeth. The deposit removal is performed on teeth that do not have bone loss, periodontal disease, or infection around the teeth, (bleeding, mobility of teeth). In other words, the mouth should be healthy.
What is Periodontal Disease? (Also called gum disease)
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums associated with loss of periodontal attachment that can lead to loss of the bone socket that supports the teeth. It is a common disease that affects people of all ages. If it is not treated, the disease can progress and result in tooth loss. It is common to have periodontal disease without pain or obvious symptoms. If you are diagnose with periodontal disease, your dentist may suggest a treatment called scaling and root planning (Deep Cleaning).
What is Root Planing
Scaling and root planning treatments remove tartar and bacteria from the root surfaces of the teeth (under the gumline). Removing the calculus “tartar” and bacterial products allow the body’s immune system to begin the healing process.
Periodontal Maintenance versus regular “teeth cleaning”
A person who receives root planning is still considered to have periodontal disease. After the disease process is under control, a regular “teeth cleaning” is not appropriate. Instead, the person will require special ongoing gum and bone care procedures, called periodontal maintenance, to keep his/her mouth healthy. Periodontal maintenance, involves in-office gum and bone care that is more complex than a normal professional teeth cleaning. It is a deeper teeth cleaning removing plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. The periodontal disease patient will need more frequent visits than healthy patients since the gum pockets and other changes, due to periodontal disease ake it more difficult for them to clean plaque from their teeth, especially below the gum line. As the disease regresses, recommendations in appointment frequency may change. If one does not continue with periodontal maintenance, the disease will progress and the patient may need more aggressive periodontal therapy.
Ala Moana Dental Group offers a full array of dental services to help you maintain healthy teeth. You can read more on this page about specific services.
Initial Oral Examination
Your initial oral examination includes a visual examination, charting, periodontal probing, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We will also take x-rays, which includes the panoramic x-ray for proper diagnosis of the anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth as well as the bite-wing x-ray series for proper diagnosis of proximal decay of posterior teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures. Read More...
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic cemented over the front of your teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Read More...
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth. Read More...
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth.The darker tissue of your teeth, the dentin, can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco. Read More...
Invisalign's® invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners will give you the beautiful straight teeth you've always wanted. And best of all, no one can tell you're wearing them. Invisalign is great for adults and teenagers. Read More...
Simple toothaches can often be relieved by rinsing the mouth to clear it of debris and other matter. Sometimes, a toothache can be caused or aggravated by a piece of debris lodged between the tooth and another tooth. Avoid placing an aspirin between your tooth and gum to relieve pain, because the dissolving aspirin can actually harm your gum tissue. Read More...
Our goal is to help you to minimize the risk of emergency treatment. This is why we commit a generous amont of time designing a Lifetime Treatment Plan that will help you to offset the possibility of unforseen pain or tooth breakage. Read More...