Frequently Asked Questions
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as a replacement of the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants are placed in the bone and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth. Once the replacement tooth is placed, the dental implant looks, feels, and restores chewing function and esthetics to what it once was before you had a missing tooth. It is considered the most natural looking and longest lasting replacement. All this is done without having to attach any of the adjacent teeth. — MissingTeeth.org
What if I don’t have enough bone for a dental implant?
Sometimes tooth loss from disease, neglect, or accidents can result in conditions that do not allow for tooth placement by a dental implant. Like a natural tooth, a certain amount of bone is needed to anchor the implant. There are a variety of bone grafting procedures with some utilizing biotechnology that will create the conditions to allow for implant placement.
What is periodontitis and how can I prevent it?
Early-stage periodontal disease (gingivitis) is seldom painful and causes relatively minor symptoms, but untreated can progress to periodontitis, or periodontal disease, a serious chronic infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth, and may eventually cause tooth loss. Periodontitis is usually preventable and treatable. Although factors such as smoking, heredity, medications and chronic medical conditions make you more susceptible to gum disease, the most common cause being poor oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings can greatly reduce your chances of developing periodontitis.
How do I know if I have Periodontitis?
Periodontal disease is seldom painful which is why its referred to as the “Silent Disease”—you can have it without even knowing.
The likely warning signs are as follows:
- Puffy, inflame, swollen or soft gums
- The bristles of your toothbrush are pink after brushing
- Gums that bleed easily
- A change in the color of your gums from a healthy pink to a dusk red
- Bleeding gums after eating hard foods
- Sores in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Gums that are receding or “pulling away” from the tooth
- Chronic bad breath
- Gum infections
- Dental pain
If you have any oral of the above symptoms, seek the care of a Periodontist.
Why should I see a Periodontist?
A periodontist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. In addition, they can perform cosmetic periodontal procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire. Often, dentists refer their patients to a periodontist when their periodontal disease is advanced. However, you do not need a referral to see a Periodontist. In fact, there are occasions when you may choose to go directly to a periodontist or refer a family member or friend to your own periodontist.
What will happen on my first visit?
This appointment is approximately 60 minutes in length. At your first visit, you will have a complete examination, oral screening, and necessary X-rays and a diagnosis of your treatment needs. At this time, Dr. Low will explain his recommendations and answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment plan. We will also review your insurance coverage and arrange a financial plan to meet your dental needs.
How is Periodontal disease treated?
Your gum tissue should fit snugly around each tooth, but when periodontitis destroys supporting bone and tissue, your gum tissue stretches out, allowing bacteria filled pockets to form around your teeth. Over time, these pockets become progressively deeper and more infected, leading to further bone and tissue loss. The goal of treatment is to thoroughly clean these pockets of bacteria and to prevent further damage. Many people with periodontitis can be successfully treated with non-invasive therapy, like scaling and root planning. Scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) is a procedure in which a dental hygienist numbs your gums so a very thorough removal of the calculus and bacteria may be comfortably performed, sometimes in conjunction with antibiotic therapy. If you consistently practice good oral hygiene at home, this may be the only treatment you need to prevent the bacteria from progressing further. However some may have more advanced periodontal disease that requires surgical intervention.
Does Periodontal treatment hurt?
We provide the best dental care in a caring gentle environment. We make every effort to make your treatment as comfortable as possible in the most relaxed environment we can provide. Often time our patients tell us after treatment our office provided the most gentle, pain-free treatment they’ve ever experienced.
How much does treatment cost and will my insurance cover it?
After your complete examination, we will provide you with an estimate for the cost of your treatment. Dental carriers generally provide coverage for most dental treatment. We will be happy to investigate your plan’s coverage and give you an estimate based on the coverage information. We accept all major credit cards and offer financing through Care Credit and Capital One Plan.