Frequently Asked Questions
Will It Hurt?
We will always be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. For surgical procedures, in addition to local anesthesia (“novocaine”) we are trained in administration of nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and offer various levels of conscious sedation from simple pre-medication with an anti-anxiety medication to full intravenous conscious sedation administered by a board-certified medical anesthesiologist.
Do I Need X-Rays?
You will need recent dental x-rays in order to make a proper diagnosis of dental and periodontal disease. If your dentist has taken x-rays, please request that they be forwarded to us. Many potential implant sites will require a dental CT scan to assess available bone and relevant local anatomy. We have a CT machine in-office for your convenience, or can refer you to an outside CT center. We adhere to ALARA principles (see oral radiology academy for further information) for the lowest possible radiation exposures to obtain the information necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.
What Will It Cost?
Since every patient’s conditions are unique, your periodontist must complete your examination before discussing treatment plan options. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary 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 often, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals and establish and maintain good dental and periodontal health along with healthy function and cosmetics.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?
Dental insurance policies often cover periodontal treatment, to the limits of your policy. Please bring all medical and dental benefit information and cards to your examination appointment. If required by your plan, with your permission, we will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits.
Will I Need 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?
Recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat teeth with significant periodontal disease. Pros and cons of treatment options will be reviewed with you as treatment proceeds.
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 extensive treatment, often with more limited choices and less-successful outcomes. If your teeth are lost, dentures are rarely a good substitute for your own natural teeth.