We want you to be comfortable with the care that we provide to you. Knowing what to expect, and understanding what is happening is key to that comfort. Below are answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions. As with everything on our website, we would be happy to address any further questions or concerns you might have on these topics.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Periodontal Disease?
- Will I have Bleeding Gums or Pain if I have Periodontal Disease?
- Is Smoking Tied to Periodontal Disease?
- My Teeth are Sensitive to Cold. Could that be a Sign of Periodontal Disease?
- Is Bad Breath associated with Periodontal Disease?
- Is it Possible to Inherit a Genetic Susceptibility to Periodontal Disease?
- Can Periodontal Disease be Treated Non-Surgically?
- Does Insurance Cover Periodontal Treatment?
- If I Schedule an Appointment, What will Take Place at my First Visit?
- Other Than Periodontal Disease, What Other Conditions do You Treat?
Question: What is Periodontal Disease?
The most common type of periodontal disease entails the formation of pockets around the teeth where the gum tissue detaches and bacteria and plaque accumulate under the gums. This creates an infection that gradually damages the bone and soft tissues around the teeth. Periodontal disease can, however, be effectively treated.
A form of deep cleaning under the gum line and practicing special oral hygiene procedures can be completed very conservatively. In other instances, soft tissue can be grafted to correct gum recession, or bone can be grafted to build up lost bone structure around the teeth and these procedures can be carried out completely painlessly.
It has been shown that periodontal disease can affect your general health. It increases the risk of heart disease or stoke. During pregnancy, it increases the risk of premature or low birth rate babies. Therefore, it is important to contact us as soon as you are referred, so that we can initiate treatment. It is also important to remember that if you take antibiotic pre-medication for dental appointments, you should take pre-medication prior to your periodontal examination appointment.
Question: Will I have Bleeding Gums or Pain if I have Periodontal Disease?
No, not necessarily. Often times people may develop rather severe periodontal disease and never experience any pain or bleeding gums.
Question: Is Smoking Tied to Periodontal Disease?
Yes definitely. Recent studies show a strong association between cigarette smoking and periodontal disease. Current smokers are four times more likely to have periodontal disease than nonsmokers! On a positive note, those who have quit more then 11 years, showed no increased risk of periodontal disease.
Question: My Teeth are Sensitive to Cold. Could that be a Sign of Periodontal Disease?
Yes it is possible. Gum recession is often associated with periodontal disease, and it exposes root surfaces, which are more sensitive.
Question: Is Bad Breath associated with Periodontal Disease?
Yes, but not necessarily. The change in bacterial flora in the mouth, as well as drainage of infection from around the teeth can result in Halitosis.
Question: Is it Possible to Inherit a Genetic Susceptibility to Periodontal Disease?
A genetic marker (interleukin), has been identified which is inherited, and this can increase susceptibility to periodontal disease. In fact, there is a clinically available test for the gene. This is only a susceptibility though, and can be overcome by treatment.
Cigarette smoking, level of plaque accumulation, tooth grinding and diabetes are all major contributing factors
Question: Can Periodontal Disease be Treated Non-Surgically?
Yes. Our philosophy is to treat all disease as conservatively as possible. Many times periodontal disease can be treated by cleaning below the gumline, and increasingly, by localized or systemic antibiotic therapy.
Question: Does Insurance Cover Periodontal Treatment?
Dental insurance usually, at least partially, covers periodontal treatment. In some instances, medical insurance will also contribute to coverage. Our office personnel will aid in investigating your insurance coverage, and submit a pre-estimate of any treatment needed. We will do our best to inform you of charges, and the extent of insurance coverage. We will work with you to establish a payment plan acceptable to you. We do not charge interest on these payments.
Question: If I Schedule an Appointment, What will Take Place at my First Visit?
Your first appointment allows us to meet and answer your questions, and then carry out a careful periodontal examination. We will check for periodontal pockets, or other signs of disease in your mouth, and we will also conduct a thorough oral cancer examination.
Question: Other Than Periodontal Disease, What Other Conditions do You Treat?
1. Our primary form of treatment is to treat periodontal disease to stop progressive bone loss and achieve a healthier environment for the teeth, and your health in general.
2. We treat gum recession which causes exposure of root surfaces often resulting in sensitive roots, and progressive loss of support for the teeth
3. We are often called on to carry-out crown extension to expose additional tooth structure to permit restoring the tooth
4. We frequently evaluate patients for pathologic conditions of the oral cavity in genral.
5. Prior to the placement of restorations on the teeth-especially in esthetically sensitive areas in the front of the mouth- we may carry out reshaping and realignment of the gumline to achieve better health and esthetics.
6. The placement and maintenance of dental implants to replace missing teeth is a major part of our practice. We have placed implants for 20 years, and find them to be an amazingly successful option for tooth replacement! See the Nobelbiocare “smile advisor’ in on this website.