Periodontal maintenance is quite different from a regular cleaning (prophy). A prophy is designed for those patients without periodontitis. It primarily deals with above the gum (supraginigval) and is generally done at six month intervals. Unlike a prophy, a periodontal maintenance visit is used for those who have had periodontal therapy, such as scaling and root planning. It is considered to be ongoing treatment for periodontitis and not just a cleaning. Periodontitis is a chronic ‘disease’ that will be with a patient for a lifetime. That being said, it is important to understand that regular periodontal maintenance visits are required to keep the disease under control. Not only will the hygienist clean the teeth and gums at a perio maintenance visit, they will also go beneath the gum line if required to remove any build up. The maintenance visit provides the opportunity to check on the pocket depths and overall periodontal health of the patient and being able to be proactive against the disease should there be any flare ups or localized areas of concern.