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After a patient completes SC/RP, how do you convey the importance of having perio maintenance done on a 3-4 month interval? I find patients only want to come twice a year since that is what their insurance will pay for.



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2 Answers

First, I like to educate on periodontal disease then let that lead to why a more frequent recare schedule is needed. For instance: When bacteria/plaque is not removed or disrupted by proper homecare, the bacteria becomes stronger the longer it sits. It first causes puffiness and bleeding of the gums, which is reversible (gingivitis). However, the longer it sits undisturbed, it gets stronger which leads to the bone and gums holding the teeth in to break down, which could cause tooth loss (periodontitis). Gums and bone don’t grow back. It is important to come in more frequently to remove this toxic bacteria because, while this disease cannot be “cured” it can be maintained. This bacteria can grow back within months, which is why 6 months is too long.

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I would add that the insurance companies are not in the healthcare industry, they are a for-profit business working with a focus of increasing their revenues. I recommend to my patients they call their insurance carrier and find out why they will not cover the necessary treatment to keep them healthy. Also, depending on the patient, it may be less expensive to be a cash payer instead of paying high premiums for dental “insurance”.

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