Jump to a Section:
- What is MPDG's Periodontal Treatment Philosophy?
- What are periodontal diseases?
- What causes periodontal diseases?
- Why is periodontal treatment necessary?
- What’s important for me to know before my first appointment?
- Will I experience any pain?
- Will I need X-rays?
- How much will the treatment cost?
- Does my insurance cover the cost?
- Will I need surgery?
- Can my teeth be saved?
- When will I go back to my general dentist?
- What if I don’t get gum treatment?
What is MPDG's Periodontal Treatment Philosophy?
At our practice, we offer a variety of surgical services to treat periodontal issues; however, we take great pride in our conservative approach when it comes to treatment recommendations.
Periodontal disease does not automatically mean surgery. We guarantee you that we only resort to surgery as a treatment option when it is absolutely necessary. When caught early, many cases of periodontal diseases can be treated with non-surgical therapy. Even in more severe cases, non-surgical treatment usually precedes surgery to improve the overall tissue quality and to limit the areas that require a surgical procedure.
What are periodontal diseases?
Periodontal diseases are prolonged infections of the gums that will gradually destroy the support structure of your natural teeth. These dental diseases can affect one or more of the periodontal tissues, including the alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, cementum and gingiva.
Periodontal diseases can be divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis is the milder form of the two categories, it can progress and develop into periodontitis.
Periodontal diseases are especially dangerous as they can develop without any major pain or obvious symptoms. 80 percent of Americans suffer from a periodontal disease by the time he or she turns 45. Four out of five patients won’t even know that they are affected by this dental issue. To reduce the risk of developing periodontal issues in the first place, it is crucial to adhere to a proper dental care routine at home while seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
What causes periodontal diseases?
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gingivitis, especially for patients who are genetically susceptible to developing this condition. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that is primarily made up of food particles and various types of bacteria. It constantly forms on your teeth, even immediately after cleaning, and it sticks to your teeth at and below your gum line. Plaque can damage your gums and lead to periodontal diseases like gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum infection).
The bacteria found in plaque produce acids, which can irritate your gums and lead to swelling, inflammations, redness and bleeding. If your gums are constantly irritated, they start separating from your teeth, and pockets (or spaces) form.
Additionally, severe plaque built-up can harden and turn into a rough, porous substance, which is known as calculus or tartar. This can occur above and below the gum line and is the result of neglected dental hygiene. If this condition advances, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, and the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place will start to deteriorate. This progressive loss of the bone, the alveolar bone, can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
While the signs and symptoms may sound severe, periodontal disease can develop quietly and unnoticed. Very few patients feel pain while the dental issue progresses. Some individuals, especially smokers, may not even experience any bleeding, swelling or redness. Proper and thorough dental hygiene are crucial for preventing periodontal diseases, and regular dental exams are necessary to rule out any hidden development of dental issues.
Why is periodontal treatment necessary?
Treatment becomes necessary when periodontal diseases affect the health of your gums or jawbone, which make up the structure and support system of your teeth. While unhealthy gums might only pose an aesthetic issue at first, it can lead to receding, swollen and red gums once the disease progresses. In later stages of the condition, the supporting bone may start to deteriorate, and your teeth will shift, become loose or, in the most severe cases, fall out.
Periodontal diseases will not only alter your smile, but they can also affect your ability to speak and chew. To avoid the loss of teeth, it is important that any condition is being treated as early as possible.
What’s important for me to know before my first appointment?
To ensure a quick and convenient visit at our office, we would like to ask you to gather the following information and documents to bring for your first appointment:
- Your referral slip
- X-rays from your referring dentist
- A list of medications you are currently taking (Please note: You can fill out your patient registration and medical history form online.)
- Dental insurance card
Before any treatment or procedure, we will complete an in-depth medical and dental health
history and examine you thoroughly to measure tooth mobility and bone and soft tissue loss. We will also evaluate your bite and check for oral cancer, TMJ and any signs of periodontal disease.
For our patients under the age of 18, please note:
For all consultation appointments, all patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Surgery patients, please note:
Before any surgery, please notify the office about any medical conditions or concerns (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring premedication, severe diabetes or hypertension).
Will I experience any pain?
You might experience some discomfort, but periodontal exams are generally pain-free. Additionally, MPDG offers LANAP periodontal treatment, a cutting-edge procedure that treats periodontal disease with a pain-free laser, rather than traditional surgery. We assure you that our dentist will be as gentle as possible to provide you with a positive and comfortable experience at our office.
Will I need X-rays?
Current periodontal X-rays are necessary for our doctors to detect any possible diseases. If your referring dentist has taken X-rays, you may request that they will be sent to you us.
How much will the treatment cost?
Since every patient is different, your dentist will have to complete your initial examination first before we can establish your treatment plan and any associated fees and cost.
The type of dental issue and the complexity and length of the treatment will generally determine the cost of your treatment. While we might be able to determine an approximate fee at your initial visit, further diagnostics and treatment might be necessary in some cases before we can establish your final treatment plan and the associated cost.
Does my insurance cover the cost?
Dental insurance policies often cover periodontal treatment and procedures. Please bring your medical and dental benefit information and insurance cards to your appointment, so we can assist you with getting your medical cost covered.
Upon request, we can submit a claim prior to your treatment to predetermine your insurance benefits and coverage; however, this is not required by most plans.
Will I need surgery?
Not all periodontal patients automatically need surgery. If detected early, gum disease can be treated without surgery.
We will thoroughly examine your case to provide you with the best recommendation for your individual treatment. If you need surgery, we assure you that our doctors will do everything to provide you with a comfortable and positive experience. All of our dentists are highly experienced and went through extensive training to master the latest surgical techniques, which guarantee minimum post-op swelling and discomfort. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively and comfortably as possible to attain the best possible treatment outcomes.
Can my teeth be saved?
Recent advances in periodontal treatment make it possible for us to treat most cases. But don’t worry. If your tooth cannot be saved, we offer replacement options, including dental implants.
When will I go back to my general dentist?
During the entire treatment, our office will work closely together with your general dentist to coordinate treatment plans and procedures. That way, we can ensure a smooth, convenient and quick process while providing you with a satisfying and aesthetically pleasing outcome.
Once your periodontal treatment is complete, it is important that you see your general dentist regularly to maintain your dental health. You will also need to see your general dentist if you need a crown, filling or bridge.
What if I don’t get gum treatment?
Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. If left untreated, it can lead to substantial bone and soft tissue (gum) loss. This is not only painful, but it can get very expensive and ultimately lead to the loss of your tooth. While there have been great advances in dentistry, no restorative option can fully replace your natural teeth.
See what our happy patients are saying:
I've been to a dozen different dentists all over the country. Every aspect of Dr Falkel's expertise and office flow is superior. I never feel hustled or up sold. Best value and care I could want. Can I give MORE than 5 stars?!! Well deserved.
It's so nice to be back in Carmel Valley after a five year absence and back to MPDG and the excellent care of Dr. Falkel. It is always a professional, caring experience.
I am very grateful to have the fine dental care by Dr. Stephen Ikemiya. He and his hygienist keep me feeling that my teeth are well cared for. As a senior citizen, 80, I appreciate this.