If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease (gum disease) the insurance industry standard of two “free” cleanings a year may not apply to you. Fortunately, your Boerne dentist and hygienist are trained to provide the periodontal cleaning that is appropriate for you and your treatment may be partially covered by a little-known insurance benefit.
It is common for many dental insurance plans to include as much as 100% coverage for two prophylactic dental cleanings each year or every 6 months. This type of cleaning involves much of the polishing and flossing that most of us have enjoyed since childhood. And, for healthy adults who do not have gum disease, this is an appropriate treatment. However, for adults with gum disease, this treatment is not appropriate, ineffective, and can actually be harmful.
A prophylactic cleaning (sometimes called a prophy) does not address infected pockets below the gumline nor does it include the removal of stubborn tarter buildup along the roots of the teeth. Infected pockets, bone loss, and tarter buildup can only be resolved through a more advanced cleaning procedure known as a periodontal cleaning. This can be performed in the dental office with specialized ultrasonic instruments, deep scaling, and local anesthetics if necessary.
A periodontal cleaning is a therapeutic measure that is necessary for the treatment and management of gum disease and it is not interchangeable with a prophylactic cleaning. While many insurance plans do not provide full coverage for periodontal procedures, most plans do offer an average benefit of 50-80%.
After you have received periodontal therapy, you may be advised to schedule follow-up periodontal cleanings every 3-4 months, for which your insurance plan may provide additional coverage. These appointments are important for monitoring your condition and for retreating the areas that may not have responded to the initial therapy.
Not all dental cleanings are created equally, but there is a dental cleaning that is right for you. To make sure that you’re receiving the appropriate treatment, contact a dentist in Boerne today.