What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive three additional years of education beyond dental school in this specialty. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and they can also perform cosmetic periodontal procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire.
When Should I see a Periodontist?
Anytime is a good time to see a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation! Sometimes the only way to detect periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. If you notice any symptoms, a periodontal evaluation may be especially important for you! Common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
• Loose or separating teeth.
• Red, swollen or tender gums.
• Gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing and flossing.
• Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
• Pus between the teeth and gums.
• A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
• Persistent bad breath.
What will happen at my first visit?
Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:
•Your referral slip and x-rays from your referring dentist
•A list of medications you are currently taking (please note that you can fill out your patient registration and medical history form on this web page)
•If you have dental insurance, your insurance card(s)
Please Note: All patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment. Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to surgery (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, severe diabetes, or hypertension).
We will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history and a thorough examination to measure for bone loss, loose teeth, bite, oral cancer screening, TMJ, and other signs of periodontal disease.
Will it hurt?
We will be as gentle as possible. Dr. Grenier is trained to administer both nitrous oxide and oral or IV sedation to minimize patient discomfort during surgery. 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 clinically. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us. If you do not have current x-rays with you at your initial visit, x-rays can be taken at that time. We utilize digital x-rays which provides a fraction of the radiation as compared to film developed x-rays.
What will it cost?
Since all patients are different, your Periodontist must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan 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; however, on occasion, some initial treatment or further diagnostics may need to 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 preventative periodontal treatment, subject to the terms of your policy. Please bring all medical and dental benefit information and cards to your initial appointment and our insurance coordinator will check your coverage. Upon request, 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 circumstance.
Can my teeth be saved?
Recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth. However, in advanced periodontal cases where severe bone loss is present, extraction of teeth may need to be considered. Nevertheless, treatment options to replace missing teeth are available and will be discussed with you if necessary.
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. Often, patients alternate cleanings between their Periodontist and their General Dentist.
What if I don’t have 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 teeth.