Your Questions, Answered

Periodontics and dental health can be intimidating for many people, especially when more extensive treatments are needed. Patients may have some uncertainties about the process and results. At Dr. Toms, we emphasize education to ensure you have the facts about the diagnosis and treatments. We hope that the answers to these frequently asked questions will help take some of the fear out of your next visit. Dr. Toms and our assistants are also just a phone call away. We are happy to help you in any way we can.

An estimated 70% of the American population has some form of periodontal disease. The symptoms can show up as inflammation, swelling, or bleeding of the gums. If untreated, it can lead to receding gums, detachment of the gums from teeth, bone loss, and other issues. The key is to have your teeth and gums checked periodically to help catch and treat issues before they start.

The primary risk of untreated periodontal disease is tooth loss. If caught earlier in the disease progression, tooth loss can be avoided. However, long term avoidance of care can have serious consequences.

Also, periodontal disease has been linked to other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, various forms of cancer, low birth weights, and stroke. Taking care of your mouth will help you take care of overall health.

The more often you have your teeth checked, the more likely you are to prevent issues from forming. If cavities, plaque, and infected areas are caught early, it will save you a lot of hassle in treating bigger periodontal issues. It is recommended that you have your teeth checked and cleaned at least every six months. If you have had or need larger procedures, you may be asked to come in more frequently to check on progress and ensure the best care possible.

Periodontists typically receive an additional three years of training over and above the general dentistry training. This means that a periodontist has more specialized training in gum care and treatment than a regular dentist. The three extra years of training allow a periodontist to gain experience and training with various forms of oral surgery, dental implants, gum and tissue grafting, and more. If you need specialized care or surgery for your gums, or if you require an implant, you will need to visit a periodontist for treatment.

Yes, laser surgery is actually a less invasive and more effective means for treating gum disease than many traditional methods. Laser dentistry has been around since the 1990s and since then has had specific methods approved by the FDA. Laser surgery can also help reduce healing time for your procedures since it does not require cutting or stitching your gum tissue. You will experience less pain and swelling with laser dentistry.

Genetics can have an effect on your periodontal health. An estimated 30% of adults are more susceptible to gum disease. This means that even with rigorous dental care routines, those more prone to the disease can still struggle with the effects. Regular checkups and cleanings are the best way to ensure you catch gum disease in its early stages.

Specific coverage depends on which insurance provider and plan you have chosen. Some insurance plans do cover at least some of the costs of periodontal treatment. To ensure coverage, please contact us with insurance information so we can verify what you can expect to be covered.

For your first visit, please be sure to bring a list of current medications you are taking, as well as your dental insurance information. This will help us ensure your procedures are covered and to help us eliminate any risk from the medications and health problems.