Periodontal maintenance (PM) is distinctly different than routine prophylaxis and is most commonly utilized for patients who have had active periodontal treatment.
It is ongoing treatment for periodontitis, which is a chronic and non-curable bacterial infection. The objective of PM is to keep the disease under control. Any type of periodontal treatment is ineffective in the long term without an effective PM regimen. Periodontal maintenance is provided every three months.
The rationale for three-month maintenance intervals is not arbitrary; it is based on a sound bacterial rationale. When biofilm is not eliminated, or adequately disrupted, periodontal pathogens aggregate on the biofilm and become the predominant species of bacteria in three to 12 weeks. This means that at the outer limit of this time period, 12 weeks, which is obviously three months, the periodontal bacteria and other organisms are flourishing. That’s when we want to reduce their numbers, not one month later or three months later.