Periodontal Therapy and Soft Tissue Management
Studies have found that as many as 50% of adult Americans have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, the process by which the gums and bone that support the teeth are attacked and lost, is a gradual condition that often is not felt or noticed by the patient until it is very advanced. We have refined a method of treatment that can stop the progression of this disease, often eliminating the need to have extensive and expensive treatment by a specialist.
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FAQ’s on Periodontal Therapy and Soft Tissue Management
The most common symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, generalized gum recession, and a bad odor or taste coming from the gums. Loose teeth, or pus coming out of the gums, are signs of a very advanced, serious disease state. A simple measurement of the gum line, and dental X-rays, can disclose the presence of the condition.
Routine dental “cleanings” (prophylaxis) clean visible calculus (the hard deposits that form on teeth) and stain above the gum line. Periodontal disease takes place below the gum line. Removing deposits and bacteria from an area that can’t be seen takes considerably more time and skill than a routine visit would allow.
We have to treat a limited area at each appointment in order to adequately eliminate the calculus and bacteria below the gum line. Numbing agents may need to be applied to the gums to keep the patient comfortable. Hand instruments, and often ultrasonic cleaning instruments, are used to clean the tooth surface. Medicines may be applied below the gum line to aid in the patient’s healing.
Most dental insurances will cover periodontal therapy. The patient’s reimbursement is usually lower than it is for a routine “cleaning”, most often at a similar percentage of the fee as a filling would be. We routinely submit pre determination of benefits for the therapy to the dental insurance company prior to beginning the treatment.
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