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FAQ

General

A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, in cosmetic periodontal procedures, and in the placement of dental implants. They provide both non-surgical and surgical treatment options for various conditions.

All Periodontists must complete additional specialized training in periodontics following dental school. Some Periodontists will opt to take the board-certification examination which is offered by the American Board of Periodontology. Board certification in periodontology denotes someone who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty.

Some patients’ periodontal needs can be treated by the general dentist. However, in many cases, patients with moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, dentally or medically, will be best managed by a partnership between your dentist and periodontist.

The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. We will be as gentle as possible

We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease under the gums that is otherwise not visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, please request that they be forwarded to us. When planning implants, 3D-imaging is needed. This is a special type of x-ray called Cone Beam CAT-scan.

Not everyone needs periodontal surgery. If periodontal disease is treated early, it can be controlled without surgery. Surgical needs is based on your individual situation and we will provide the appropriate recommendations to you.

The advances seen in periodontal treatment allows us to successfully treat most teeth.

Our office and your dentist will work closely together, many times alternating appointments between both offices. Regular recall visits are an important part of periodontal maintenance after treatment.

Periodontal disease is a life-long condition that requires a stricter recall than what you may be used to having at your dentist. We tailor the recall interval to each patient’s situation; this is based on overall health, severity of bone loss, and risk factors such as smoking and genetics. To prevent further disease, recall appointments are needed in intervals from 2-4 months to maintain oral health.

We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease under the gums that is otherwise not visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, please request that they be forwarded to us. When planning implants, 3D-imaging is needed. This is a special type of x-ray called Cone Beam CAT-scan.

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection of the gums and underlying bone. Any delay in treatment can cause you to lose more bone and gum tissue, potentially tooth loss, and will come at more expense. If your teeth are lost completely, dentures are never as effective as your own teeth.

Before Surgery

No, IV sedation is a form of Moderate Conscious Sedation, a.k.a. “Twilight Sedation”. During this type of sedation, many people do fall asleep but some maintain a half awake/half asleep state. IV sedation is meant to help you relax to a point that you can fall asleep. This isn’t the same type of anesthesia seen in hospital settings.

Yes, you may have a light, non-greasy, non-dairy meal prior to IV sedation. We recommend that you eat an hour prior at minimum.

No. All patients having sedation must have a designated driver to bring them to the appointment and to take them home. The designated driver will be given the written and verbal post-operative instructions and expected to help you out the day of the surgery as you may not remember anything due to the sedation medications. However, the designated driver doesn’t have to wait in the waiting room for you during the whole surgery; they may leave their name and phone number and leave as long as they stay in the nearby area. We will call them to come pick you up once your surgery is completed.

There are different types of periodontal surgery and they all take a different amount of time. The time needed for your surgery will be determined based on the treatment you need, the overall severity, and how much treatment is being done at any given time. Majority of periodontal surgeries range between 1-3.5 hours.

No. To minimize risk and danger to the staff, yourself, and your child, we have parents or guardians wait in the front waiting room during the surgical procedure. Parents and guardians will be called back immediately after the procedure is complete.

After Surgery

Discomfort and pain varies between individuals. Generally, most discomfort and/or swelling can be expected in the initial 3-4 days after surgery. Most NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen) are all you need.

It is possible that you may have some swelling and bruising based on the type of procedure you had performed. Some people may be at a higher risk for bruising such as those taking aspirin or blood thinners, certain bleeding conditions, and elderly. Most swelling occurs within the initial 3-4 days then subsides. We recommend ice compresses the initial 1-2 days to minimize followed by moist heat compresses the days following.

We recommend that you don’t brush or floss the surgical site for 2 weeks after any surgical procedure. During this time, a medicate mouthwash will be used to keep the surgical site clean.

We recommend a soft food diet for 2 weeks after the surgical procedure, as well as avoid eating on the side of surgery. Please see our list of Post-Operative instructions.

Sutures or “stitches” are left in place for 2 weeks. At your 2 week post-operative appointment, sutures are removed typically.

The plastic shield is a protective retainer worn on the top jaw that acts like a “band-aid” after gum grafting. It is recommended that you wear it for 2 weeks, night and day, to get the most benefit. We recommend taking it out 2-3x a day to clean it with running water and a toothbrush.

If an edge of the plastic shield is rubbing your cheek, you may take a finger nail file to file down the pointed edge, or may use orthodontic wax found in the hygiene aisle to place over the edge, otherwise please call our office to schedule a visit so that we may remedy this for you.

Possibly, it depends on the treatment rendered and what type of retainer or nightguard you have. Please bring your retainer or nightguard in to your appointment so that the doctors can evaluate if you will be able to wear it after surgery.

We recommend waiting 3-4 days before exercising to allow time for healing. Light activity is allowed during this time such as walking, and shopping.

Many times there is an exposed white membrane that acts as a protective barrier over the bone graft. This protective membrane stays in place between 5-6 weeks. We will schedule you for a follow up between 5-6 weeks to remove this protective barrier.

Superficial brown staining on teeth can be seen in some individuals after surgery due to the medicated mouthwash and not brushing the surgical site during this time. This is quite common. The staining is only superficial and will come off easily with a visit to our hygienist.

If you have a small screw fall out after having an implant place, place the screw into a plastic bag to bring it with you and call the office to schedule an appointment to evaluate the implant site. Most of the time, the small screw that comes out is usually NOT the implant, but rather a small closure screw that screws into the implant itself to help keep food from getting inside the implant.

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