Why am I being referred to a specialist?
- Your general dentist has been trying to treat your disease but it is now too advanced and you must see a specialist.
- Cardiovascular disease is often called “the silent killer.” We think it is appropriate to call periodontal disease “the silent killer of teeth.”
- What are deep pockets? When the bone next to the tooth is destroyed, it creates a pocket where more bacteria can hide from your floss and toothbrush. As the pockets deepen, they become too deep even for the skilled hygienist to access and remove the bacteria.
- Your dentist is now concerned that if the disease is not further treated you may lose teeth in the near future.
- You may have deep pockets or recession which are both signs of bone loss. If enough bone is lost, the teeth may become lose and then fall out.
What exactly is a periodontist?
- Periodontists are the foundation specialists. They specialize in the bone and gums around teeth and implants. Treating gum and bone disease around teeth and implants is one of their main focuses.
- Similar to having a foundation inspected before you buy a home, your dentist has determined before anymore work on your teeth is completed, or to preserve prior work, you need to have the foundation inspected.
- Periodontists have the tools to extend the life of teeth and to replace them with dental implants as needed.
- Like cardiovascular disease: we are here for the long haul. There is no cure for periodontal disease. The only way to truly “cure” yourself of this disease is to remove your teeth and NOT place implants because, unfortunately, implants can develop the SAME disease.
What to expect on your first visit:
Rarely is this gum and bone disease only located at one tooth. We will do a comprehensive examination. Similarly, if you were to buy a home, you would not say to the inspector, “please only look at the north end of my foundation.” Usually, the body likes symmetry. Other sites may have the disease but we may be able to catch and treat it before it becomes more severe than the original site. Comprehensive examinations are needed to diagnose and treat you as we would our own family members.
Following the examination, we will determine what additional information may be needed to properly diagnose your condition and then provide you with a customized treatment plan. Some of the additional data needed may be “putty” impressions, digital impressions, clinical photos, a 3D scan, radiographs or an examination from another specialist (i.e. root canal specialist).
When all diagnostic information is obtained we will prepare and review with you the treatment plan we have for you.
What is periodontal disease? Are different treatments are a possibility?
Periodontal disease is infection in the gums, bone, root structure and the ligament around the teeth. Depending on several factors, we have multiple treatment options for this disease: scaling and root planing, laser therapy, bone grafting, dental implants, gum and bone re-contouring, gum grafts from a tissue bank or your palate, as well as others.
Please complete our new patient forms and submit prior to your first appointment.
View/Download the New Patient Forms here.