Periodontal Care Information
Oklahoma City FAQs and Dental Education
Your First Visit
Every step on the path to periodontal health is important. And though every visit with us is unhurried and focused on you, we take special care with your very first visit. We want to get to know you both as a patient and as a person so that your periodontal care can be exactly what you need it to be. We will talk about all of your dentist’s recommendations and findings, about our own findings and discuss your options for treatment all in a comfortable and private environment.
Please print and fill out our Health History form. Bring the completed form with you to your first appointment.
After Procedure Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Who should see a periodontist?
Some patients’ periodontal needs can be managed by their family dentist. However, as more and more patients are exhibiting signs of periodontal disease, coupled with research that suggests a relationship between periodontal disease and other chronic diseases of aging, periodontal treatment may necessitate a greater understanding and increased level of expertise by a trained specialist. Patients who present with moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, will be best managed by a partnership between the dentist and periodontist.
Do I need a referral from a dentist to visit your office?
No, a majority of our patients are referred from their Dentists, but it is not required.
What can I expect from my first visit?
During the first visit, I will review your complete medical and dental histories. It is extremely important to know if any medications are being taken or if you are being treated for any condition that can affect periodontal care, such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy. I will examine your gums, check to see if there is any gum line recession, assess how the teeth fit together when biting, and check the teeth to see if any are loose. I will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets; this helps me assess the health of the gums. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line.
Do you take my insurance?
We are not a preferred provider for any insurance plans. However, we will file your claim.
Do you have financing options?
Yes, we except Care Credit at 0% interest for up to 12 months. Care Credit is a personal line of credit for health care treatments and procedures for your entire family.
Who should treat my periodontal disease: my family dentist or a periodontist?
Instead of leaving your treatment to one dental professional, you should consider having both your family dentist and a periodontist be actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of your periodontal disease. This team approach will help your general dentist (who is familiar with your dental and medical history) and your periodontist (who has extensive experience treating periodontal disease) collaborate to tailor a treatment plan that works best for your individual case.
I have heard there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. Is this true? Where can I find more information?
The connection between gum disease and heart disease is a very hot topic in the field of periodontics right now! Several research studies have indicated that heart disease and gum disease may be linked, and researchers suspect that inflammation may be the basis behind this relationship. If you are at risk for heart disease, it is a good idea to mention this to your periodontist, since gum disease may increase this risk. Get additional information on the connection between heart disease and gum disease, as well as the connection between gum disease and other systemic conditions.
Other than diagnose and treat gum disease, what else have periodontists been trained to do?
Periodontists spend a majority of their time diagnosing and treating gum disease, but there are a variety of other procedures that they are able to perform. Periodontists place dental implants when natural teeth cannot be saved. They also monitor the implants to make sure that they are properly doing their job. Periodontists may also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces which can be unsightly as well as sensitive to hot and cold. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for additional cosmetic procedures to help create a beautiful smile. Finally, periodontists can be integral in the comprehensive planning of your oral care, along with your family dentist or other dental professional.
What are the consequences of missing teeth?
There are actually several negative consequences of missing some or all of your teeth. First, missing teeth will affect the esthetics of your face. Not only will your smile be affected by the gaps from missing teeth, but if you’re missing too many teeth, the skin around your mouth won’t be supported properly and will start to sag, making your appear older than you are. Additionally, missing teeth will make it more difficult to chew your food properly and may even affect the way you speak. Finally, missing even one tooth may have emotional consequences; many people feel less confident about their smile when they are missing teeth. If you are currently missing any of your teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants, which can look and feel just like natural teeth. For more information about implants, browse www.perio.org or talk to your periodontist.
Read more about periodontal care at www.perio.org.