WILL THE PERIODONTAL EXAM HURT?
We will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.
DO I NEED X-RAYS?
We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us.
WHAT WILL PERIODONTAL TREATMENT COST?
Since all patients are different, your periodontist must complete your examination before establishing your treatment planning and the fee for care. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the type of problems and the complexity and length of treatment.
An approximate fee can usually be determined at the initial visit; but on occasion, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment planning can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THE COST?
Dental insurance policies often cover periodontal treatment. Please bring all medical and dental benefit information and cards to your examination appointment. Upon request, we will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits; however, this is not required by most plans.
WILL I NEED PERIODONTAL SURGERY?
Not everyone needs periodontal surgery. If treated early, gum disease can be controlled without surgery. We will make recommendations based on your individual situation. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.
CAN MY TEETH BE SAVED?
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.
WHEN WILL I GO BACK TO MY GENERAL DENTIST?
Our office and your dentist will work closely together. If crowns and fillings are needed your dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE GUM TREATMENT?
Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss and more expense. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own natural teeth.
How is gum disease linked to cardiovascular disease?
Research has shown that periodontal disease may increase the risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are chronic inflammatory diseases, so researchers believe that inflammation may account for the association between the two. Untreated periodontal disease can increase inflammation in the body, which may increase the risk for development of more severe health complications, including cardiovascular diseases such as coronary thrombosis and Heart attack. Further researches might be needed to determine this relationship between the two conditions.
Are periodontal treatments generally covered under Medicare or Medicaid?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any dental treatments at this time; only medical treatments are covered. Medicaid programs are run by each individual state, so coverage is going to vary depending on which state you live in. Check with your dental care provider to determine if the periodontal treatment you need is covered by your plan.
Is a topical antibiotic treatment necessary in conjunction to scaling and root planing?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, topical antibiotic treatment may be used as an adjunct to scaling and root planing. Every person has different needs based on their particular situation, so be sure to talk to your dental professional about using these antibiotics as part of your course of treatment; he or she will determine if they are a good fit for you.
What is the difference between plaque and calculus?
Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Bacteria live in plaque and secrete acids that cause tooth decay and irritate gum tissue. This irritation causes an inflammatory reaction by your body that can eventually lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed regularly by tooth brushing and flossing, it hardens to create calculus (also known as tartar). Calculus cannot be removed with a toothbrush; only a dental professional can remove it during an oral cleaning. To keep plaque and calculus under control, it is essential to brush your teeth twice every day, floss at least once every day, and see your dental professional for regular cleanings
Can children be at risk for developing periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is rarely found in children, and only sometimes found in adolescents. However, children should still learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease in the future. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly- if children learn how to floss at an early age, they will be more likely to make it a lifetime habit. These two simple acts will help protect their teeth and gums from periodontal disease.
As a parent, you should also be aware of the warning signs of periodontal disease, which include red, swollen, bleeding gums or bad breath that won’t go away. If your child develops any of these symptoms, tell your dental professional right away. It’s also a good idea to ensure your dental professional knows your complete family history, as genetics can play an important role in the early development of periodontal disease.
Other than diagnose and treat gum disease, what else have periodontists been trained to do?
Most periodontists spend the majority of their time diagnosing and treating gum disease, but there are a variety other procedures that they are able to perform. Periodontists place dental implants when natural teeth cannot be saved. They also monitor the implants to make sure that they’re properly doing their job. Periodontists may also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces which can be unsightly as well as sensitive to hot and cold. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for additional cosmetic procedures to help create a beautiful smile. Finally, periodontists can be integral in the comprehensive planning of your oral care, along with your general dentist or other dental professional.
What are common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is often silent, meaning symptoms – particularly pain – may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, you should still be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms, which include:
Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or when eating certain foods
Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
Loose or separating teeth
Pus between your gums and teeth
Sores in your mouth
Persistent bad breath
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
A change in the fit of partial dentures