Frequently Asked Questions
Denver and Centennial CO
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease (also know as periodontal infection, gum disease or pyorrhea) is an ongoing infection in the gums around your teeth. The cause of periodontal disease is infectious bacteria which gets deep into your gums.
This infection starts destroying the bone which supports your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
For more information, see the section entitled “Periodontal Disease“.
What are the symptoms of periodontal infection?
Because periodontal infection grows under your gums, you can have no symptoms at all.
More advanced cases can have some of the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Spaces between the teeth
- Tooth Sensitivity to heat/cold
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Bad breath
- Missing teeth
- Deep pockets around the teeth
- Gums receding around the teeth (Longer looking teeth)
For more information see the section entitled “Periodontal Disease“.
Why, all of a sudden, is my dentist sending me to a periodontist?
Periodontists have advanced training in the treatment of periodontal disease and dental implants. Patients with periodontal infection have lowered resistance to periodontal bacteria. This causes a continuing gum infection which can grow in bursts.
Some factors which can cause a dramatic speed-up of your periodontal disease are:
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Dental Plaque
- Genetic Factors
Two other important factors are:
- Lack of regular dental checkups.
- Lack of regular dental cleanings.
When your infection has a “burst” of growth, or when there are signs that this is may occur, periodontal treatment may be recommended.
How is periodontal disease treated?
There are a few different treatments for periodontal infection. The goal of treatment is to remove the infectious bacteria from beneath the gums and control its future regrowth. For more information see Procedures.
After your initial examination, we will completely explain your different options for treatment.
Will It Hurt?
One of our primary concerns is that you have a comfortable experience during treatment. Towards this end, we offer an extensive array of the latest techniques to minimize discomfort.
For more information on these techniques, see “Procedures“.
Many of our patients come back stating they are amazed at how little discomfort they experienced.
What is going to happen on my first appointment?
On your first visit to our office, you will receive a periodontal examination. You should experience little, if any, discomfort during this examination. If necessary, x-rays will be taken to further evaluate any loss of bone around your teeth.
Afterwards the findings and options for treatment will be thoroughly explained. At that time the doctor will answer any questions you may have.
Our goal is that you leave with a complete understanding of your condition and the treatment needed to restore you to optimum oral health.
Do I Need X-Rays?
We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us.
How much will treatment cost and will my insurance cover it?
Everyone deserves to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime. While periodontal treatment is not as costly as replacing natural teeth due to tooth loss, its cost can vary greatly depending upon your needs.
If you have dental insurance, this may provide full or partial coverage. Our office will contact your insurance company to learn what they will cover. We do accept assignment of most insurance benefits and your responsibility will only be to cover the remainder.
We feel that finances should never be an obstacle to treatment. For your convenience, we offer several payment options. We have payment plans to suit your individual needs. Our insurance coordinator, will be happy to answer any of your financial or insurance questions.
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 situation. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.
Can My Teeth Be Saved?
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.
Why must I have my periodontal infection treated?
Periodontal infection grows in “bursts of activity”.
It is likely that you have been referred to us because your general dentist has noticed an increase in infection activity.
This infection eats away at the bone that supports your teeth (leading to tooth loss). If not treated, there can be a number of consequences. Please see the Consequences and Medical Consequences Sections for a list of these.
What are the medical consequences, if I delay treatment?
When periodontal infection gets into the bone around your teeth, it can then then enter your the blood stream. From there it travels to other parts of the body and can contribute to medical problems.
Recent research has found that patients with periodontal disease are more than twice as likely to have heart disease and stroke.
Please read the section entitled “The Mouth-Body Connection” to see a an overview of recent research correlating periodontal disease with serious medical problems.
Do you work with my general dentist regarding my periodontal care?
Your general dentist knows your entire dental history, the condition of your teeth, and your future dental needs. He is in charge of your overall dental care. We work closely with him or her to ensure you receive the best possible dental care.
In many cases, your general dentist may do your preliminary periodontal treatment and a portion of your periodontal maintenance afterwards.
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.
What are implants?
Implants are natural looking replacements for missing teeth. The implant itself is a post which is attached to your jawbone. This post provides an anchor for your general dentist to place crowns, fix partials, or other restorations.
We are experts in the placement of implant posts. Implants begin with an evaluation by your general dentist who will decide if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
For more detailed information, please see the Section entitled “Dental Implants“.
Do you use the latest equipment and techniques?
We keep ourselves up to date regarding equipment and periodontal procedures. You can be sure you will receive state-of-the-art care.
Regarding sterilization, we believe that all procedures should be safe as well as comfortable. We use only the latest sterilization techniques. For more information on treatment techniques and sterilization see the Section entitled “Procedures“.
What other treatments do you provide?
Besides periodontal treatment and implants, we can perform a number of procedures. These include:
For more information on these procedures, please see the Section entitled “Procedures“.