Is This Your First Visit to a Periodontist?

Our doctors and team understand that patients may be nervous about receiving the periodontal care and treatment that they need and deserve. Many patients have questions about their conditions and procedures, and we have gathered the most common questions here. If you have questions that are not answered below, call us at 336-545-9084 for a personalized consultation.

What is Periodontics?

Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry focusing on the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, jaw bone, tooth roots, and the thin ligaments surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease takes on many forms, but is usually a result of a bacterial infection in the gums. Untreated, it often leads to bone loss, tooth loss, and may contribute to the progression of systemic diseases including Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Periodontists treat disorders of the gums and can replace lost teeth with dental implants.

Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontal Care

Our doctors and their team use advanced technology that is minimally invasive and, many times, does not require any cutting or suturing. Patients often feel very little pain, discomfort, or down time, and are able to return quickly to their regular activities. We also offer specific post-operative instructions for optimal healing.

Absolutely. Most procedures will not interfere with normal work, especially if cold drinks can be consumed to minimize swelling. The exception would be a job that entails strenuous physical activity. Talking is generally not a problem once the numbness wears off.

Normal eating can be resumed with some procedures with the exception of popcorn and peanuts, which need to be avoided. Other procedures will require a softer diet during the initial healing stages. This will be reviewed extensively at the treatment appointment.

Most procedures can be completed in 40 minutes to an hour. You will be informed if more time is needed, although this is rare.

When the gum tissue recedes, the bone level recedes with it, which can result in loose or missing teeth. The resulting exposed root surface is much softer than the enamel of the crown and can be worn away with normal brushing and is much more susceptible to decay. Exposed root surfaces can cause extreme sensitivity and can lead to problems requiring treatment such as root canals and crowns. In extreme cases, recession can result in tooth loss.

A periodontal or gum pocket is the space that develops between the gums and teeth as periodontal disease develops. At each appointment, our doctors and team measure the size of any periodontal pockets, which, if left untreated, can eventually lead to tooth loss. It has also been shown that infection from gum pockets can affect general systemic health. We work with each individual patient to treat periodontal pockets.

Most Americans only need to have their teeth cleaned every 6-12 months. However, when someone has periodontal disease, teeth cleanings and oral exams need to occur more frequently for good dental health. Numerous studies have shown that the germs and bacteria that cause periodontal disease can cause destruction of bone (resulting in deeper pockets) in as little as three months. By disrupting the germs and bacteria by thorough periodontal maintenance every three months, the bone destruction can be stopped and the bone support can be preserved. Periodontal treatment without routine follow-up can fail.

Implants give us the possibility of restoring function without cutting down adjacent teeth. They feel and function normally, although they need good home care just like teeth. The success rate of titanium implants is over 95% and there is no chance of future tooth decay.

Some periodontal procedures do require sutures. Most of the time these are dissolvable and come out on their own in 5-10 days. It is important to not disturb them with your tongue or toothbrush so that they can come out naturally after they have served their function.

There are almost as many different insurance policies as there are patients and they all have different levels of coverage. Our experience is that they cover similar for periodontics what they do for other dental procedures. Our talented staff works hard to maximize your insurance benefits and to send any requested information the day the request is received. If you have questions about your particular insurance policy, often times your human resource personnel can tell you what is covered and at what levels.

Are You Worried About The Cost Of Dental Care?

Our team of professionals will work with you to ensure you get the care you need at a price you can afford no matter what your budget. Call our office today to discuss your financial questions.