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Periodontal Maintenance supports gum health and provides a lifetime of healthy smiles

At Abel, Phan, & Associates in Potomac Falls and Sterling, Virginia, we offer a range of services and expertise to keep your gums healthy. Generally, Drs Anna Abel and Chuong Phan emphasize preventing gum (periodontal) inflammation and later-stage disease. Prophylaxis (or “prophy”) refers to techniques applied to avoid conditions that threaten your health. Our feeling is, “Why treat when you can prevent?” However, we also partner closely with patients to resolve gingival problems fully and efficiently follow-up maintenance services and visits to sustain periodontal health. 

About prophylaxis

Dental prophy refers to professional or standard cleaning. Among patients at low risk of developing gum disease, these cleanings can be scheduled every six months. Patients with risk factors, such as challenges to good oral hygiene or nutritional problems, may need to visit us more often for cleanings to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar (plaque build-up). 

Depending on what we find during these “checkups,” we may recommend non-surgical scaling and root planing. SRP is the “deep clean” alternative to standard professional cleanings. Specialized tools are used to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar above and below the gum line. Root surfaces are rough; they tend to harbor bacteria and plaque. So, we also apply “planing” to smooth these rough roots. Often, this technique may be sufficient to resolve disease. 

Maintain your good gum health!

Follow-up visits to maintain healthy gums are a “must.” Cleanings may be recommended four times each year to help manage disease-causing bacterial plaque and check the state of your gums. Generally, any time we have reached a form of “maintenance,” be it by administering SRP or other means (such as medications or surgical or specialist intervention). We will want to follow up consistently and visit with you frequently to support lasting gum health. 

By supporting the health of your gums, we are supporting the structural integrity and health of the teeth that depend on them. Notably, we are supporting your overall health. Researchers have conclusively connected the dots between advanced periodontitis or severe gum disease and serious systemic problems, such as poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. 

These touchpoints also present opportunities for us to assess your oral hygiene technique and to commend adjustments to oral care and products that can help you be more effective at keeping your gums healthy when you can’t be at our office. The purpose is to minimize or eliminate the risk factors for periodontal disease, for instance, by introducing healthy habits such as rinsing your mouth with water when you sip sugary drinks. Or incorporating daily flossing and electronic toothbrushes into your routine. There is no single silver bullet approach because every patient has a different “starting point” on this oral health journey. Unique patients also present with varied challenges or barriers to good gum health. 

Please do not wait for problems to present themselves before calling us. Phone (571) 450-9848 to schedule your visit.