Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontics

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 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.  There are different ways to expose x-rays: some are taken at angles that are good for finding cavities but not good for looking at problems with the bone.  Even if your dentist has recently taken x-rays, they may not be the right kind to see periodontal problems and we may need to take a different set.  For dental implant planning, we often take a 3-D x-ray called a CBCT to see how much bone is available and where structures are like nerves or sinuses.

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 plan 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. We will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits prior to treatment.

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?

Our first goal is to save teeth and advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.  However, bone loss can get to the point where teeth may need to be extracted because they pose an infection risk or may negatively affect neighboring teeth.  Your periodontist will discuss this with you and make a treatment plan with you that addresses these concerns.

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 my gums treated?

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.