What is a Periodontal Maintenance?
First things first: Periodontal Maintenance is not a Dental Prophylaxis (Cleaning). A Dental Prophylaxis is performed above the gum line to prevent disease.
Periodontal Maintenance is for patients who have Periodontal Disease and who have completed periodontal treatment, usually 4 quadrants of Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing. The goal of Periodontal Maintenance is to remove as much debris from below the gums as possible, every three to four months, to disrupt bacterial proliferation.
Understandably, there are a few reasons why patients want a Cleaning instead:
- Cleanings are usually every 6 months, while Periodontal Maintenances are every 3 or 4.
- Almost all insurance plans pay Cleanings at 100%, while some pay for Periodontal Maintenances at only 80%.
- Some plans offer 2 Cleanings per year in addition to 2 Periodontal Maintenances.
While we understand your concerns, there are two main reasons why patients with Periodontal Disease receive Periodontal Maintenances:
- It is in your best interest – Periodontal Disease is a chronic, non-curable bacterial infection that requires ongoing therapy. Periodontal therapy doesn’t reverse Periodontal Disease, it stabilizes it. Research shows that patients with Periodontal Disease who do not receive proper Periodontal Maintenance lose 2-3 times more teeth and need active therapy twice as often as those having proper Maintenance.
- It is the law – knowingly billing false codes to dental insurance is insurance fraud. We must code for the procedure being performed.
I hope that this article has helped you better understand the differences between a Regular Cleaning versus Periodontal Maintenance. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at anytime.