Frequently Asked Questions

» What is periodontal disease?
» What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
» Why, all of a sudden, is my dentist sending me to a periodontist?
» How is periodontal disease treated?
» Does periodontal treatment hurt?
» What is going to happen on my first visit?
» How much will my treatment cost and will my insurance cover it?
» Why must I start treatment right away?
» What are the medical consequences, if I delay treatment?
» How is my general dentist important to my periodontal care?
» What are dental implants?
» Do you use the latest equipment and techniques?
» What other treatments do you provide?

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease (also known 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 that 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 disease?

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.
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat/cold
  • Bad breath
  • Deep pockets around the teeth
  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Missing 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 lower resistance to periodontal bacteria. This causes a continuing gum infection that can grow in bursts of activity. Some factors that can cause a dramatic speed-up of your periodontal disease are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dental plaque
  • Smoking
  • Genetic factors
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Age
  • Illness


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?

Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums and jawbone. The goal of treatment is to remove this infection and prevent it from coming back. For more information see the Procedures section.

After your initial examination, we will completely explain the treatment you will need.

Does periodontal treatment 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 the Procedures section.

Many of our patients come back stating they are amazed at how little discomfort they experienced.

What is going to happen on my first visit?

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, your 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.

How much will my 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. We can discuss the cost of care fully once a treatment plan has been designed for you.

Why must I start treatment right away?

When periodontal infection gets into the bone around your teeth, it can then enter your 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 Dental & Medical Consequences to see an overview of recent research correlating periodontal disease with serious medical problems.

What are the medical consequences, if I delay treatment?

When periodontal infection gets into the bone around your teeth, it can then enter your 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 Dental & Medical Consequences to see an overview of recent research correlating periodontal disease with serious medical problems.

How is the my general dentist important to 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 will 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.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are natural looking replacements for missing teeth. The dental implant itself is a post that is attached to your jawbone. This post provides an anchor for your general dentist to place crowns, bridges or other restorations.

We are experts in the placement of dental implant posts. Dental 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 in our office.

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 dental implants, we can perform a number of procedures, including:

  • Crown Lengthening
  • Cosmetic Gingival (gum) Grafting
  • Gingival (gum) Contouring
  • Bone Grafting
  • Frenectomy
  • Ridge Augmentation


For more information on these procedures, please see the section entitled Procedures.