Maintenance is the corner stone of every dental treatment plan particularly a periodontal one. Periodontal patients with strict maintenance programmes have better outcomes in terms of tooth retention and dental implant survival. Is this the stuff of legend? Is this really necessary given the effectiveness of modern dentifrices and brushing aids?
The answer is a resounding YES!
A successful maintenance program needs:
1-an accurate periodontal diagnosis which a dentist or periodontist can provide
2-a dental state that is stable ie. no pockets greater than 5mm and no caries
3-a clear well thought out prescription to follow
The outcomes of maintenance programs have been studied extensively but a successful maintenance program is yet to be defined. One can safely say that the primary outcome variable for a successful maintenance program is tooth/implant loss. Cobb et al, Lang et al, Tonetti et al and Fardal et al as well as many others demonstrated higher tooth/ implant loss when: