Prophy vs. Perma: What’s the difference?

If you are coming into our office, you will often find yourself being scheduled for a “prophy” or “perma.” Here’s what to expect for your future/upcoming appointment!

A prophylaxis, or prophy for short, is a typical cleaning appointment scheduled for patients with generally healthy gums and teeth. During your visit, expect cleaning above the gums, as well as removal of plaque and tarter both above gum tissue or on the crown of the tooth. Gums may also be probed on occasion to test their health and strength. A prophy is recommended to be scheduled every 6 months and is important for preventing periodontal disease.

On the other hand, perio maintenance, or perma for short, is scheduled for a patient in order to control the progression of periodontal disease. Common indications for perma treatment include signs of bone loss via x-ray, bleeding and inflammation, as well as gum pockets deeper than 4 mm. The patient should expect deeper cleaning procedures such as scaling below the gumline in order to control progression of the infection. Perma is a more therapeutic treatment and is recommended to be scheduled every 3-4 months. Further, chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as personal habits such as smoking and level of self care can impact the results of your perma treatment.

Regardless of which treatment is recommended, it is important to note the impact healthy dental hygiene can have for you! For any further questions on your recommended treatment, feel free to reach out to our office anytime!

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