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Frequently Asked Periodontal Questions

Most people haven’t even heard the word “periodontist” until their dentist mentions it or they research online about dental implants, so needless to say, our patients tend to have a lot of questions! Our team is more than ready to answer them to make sure you are fully informed about your care and always have peace of mind when you come to see us. Below, we’ve answered some of our most popular FAQs already, but if there is anything else you’d like to know, be sure to give us a call and ask!

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a type of dental specialist who is an expert at finding, diagnosing, and treating problems that concern the structures that support the teeth, namely the gums and underlying jawbone. In order to become one, a person must graduate from dental school and then complete additional years of periodontal training. Thanks to these rigorous requirements, periodontists are able to provide next-level care when it comes to gum disease treatment and dental implants.

What causes gum disease?

In most cases, gum disease is the result of a lack of oral hygiene. This allows tartar (hardened plaque) to accumulate on the teeth below the gums, which exposes the nearby tissues to bacteria that irritates and inflames them. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing gum disease as well, and other factors like tobacco use, advanced age, and dry mouth can make someone more likely to develop it as well.

What are the early signs of gum disease?

Initially, a patient will notice red, swollen, and tender gums that tend to bleed quite easily, especially during regular brushing and flossing. It’s important that if you notice these symptoms that you seek out care as soon as possible, as the infection will only become worse over time.

Do I really need to replace my missing teeth?

Yes! Even a single missing tooth can lead to severe oral health problems if left untreated. Tooth loss typically leads to bone loss in the jaw, which can affect the stability of the remaining teeth and make them more likely to shift out of place. Patients with untreated tooth loss are also more susceptible to developing gum disease, which usually results in even more tooth loss. For a patient’s health and appearance, it’s always best to replace any teeth as soon as possible.

Why should I have my implants placed by a periodontist instead of a general dentist?

While many general dentists are offering to place implants these days, they simply do not have the same dedicated training and experience regarding this procedure compared to a certified periodontist. General dentists have a wide base of knowledge and are responsible for providing many different kinds of treatments, while periodontists focus specifically on the gums and jawbone. This, along with years of specialty training, enable periodontists to provide a higher level of care that dramatically increases the chances of success for a patient.

Will my dental insurance cover periodontal care?

This depends on the nature of your benefits as well as what type of procedure you need. For example, some plans will cover a standard scaling and root planing treatment, and others will not. This is the same when it comes to the different phases of dental implant treatment as well. The best thing you can do is either talk to your insurance provider or give us a call so we can go over your policy with you.

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