What is the best kind of toothbrush?

Generally speaking, a soft bristled toothbrush is best. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric, anything harder than soft bristles is too hard. Stiff bristles may give you that clean feeling, but they can also abrade your teeth and cause gum recession.

How do I use floss?

Floss is cheap, so don’t be stingy! Tear off about a forearm’s length to start. Wrap one end around the middle finger of one hand to “anchor” it, and pick up the other end about 4-6inches away with the middle finger of the other hand. This allows you to manipulate the floss with your thumb and fore finger.

As you use a section of floss, “reel” in another 4-6 inches of clean floss with the anchor finer as you release the floss with the other finger. Once you get the floss past the tooth contact, move the floss against the side of one tooth in a “shoe shine” manner making a “C” shape around the tooth, then repeat for the other tooth. Be careful not to take the floss too far into the gum tissue as this could cause you to cut your gums.

How often should I get x-rays and are they safe?

For most people, a complete radiographic survey should be done every 3 years and a “check up” or “recall” set every 6 to 12 months. Doctors use x-rays as an aid in diagnosing problem. Without x-rays, “seeing” the problem will be difficult if not impossible. Dental x-rays are very safe and the amount radiation from a full set of digital x-rays is low. Considering the average person is exposed to background radiation of 2000 microsieverts at sea level to 4000 microsieverts at higher altitudes, dental radiation from a 18-20 digital films produces about four microsieverts of radiation. Therefore, background radiation in a single day is more than a full mouth set of digital x-rays.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by acids which are produced by bacteria in the presence of sugar. To prevent decay, these bacteria, sugar and acids must be periodically removed by way of brushing and flossing.

How often should I get dental checkups?

For most people, a checkup and cleaning every 6 months is standard protocol. However, depending on a person’s dental health, a dental cleaning every 3-4 months may be recommended.

What will it cost?

Since all patients are different, your periodontist must complete an examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the type of problems and the complexity and length of treatment. An approximate fee can sometimes be determined at the initial visit; but usually, further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.

Will my insurance cover the cost?

Dental insurance policies usually cover some portion of periodontal treatment. Please bring all dental benefit information and cards to your examination appointment. Upon request, we will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits so you will have a better idea of what they will reimburse. Please be aware the dental insurance is more like an assitance plan.

Will I need surgery?

Not everyone needs periodontal surgery. If treated early, gum disease can be controlled without surgery. We will make recommendations based on your individual situation. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals. We seldom use cutting and stitching surgery, and now use laser treatment in most cases.

Can my teeth be saved?

The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth, especially with the new LANAP technique which treats gum infection with Lasers.

When will I go back to my general dentist?

Our office and your dentist will work closely together to maintain your dental health. If crowns and fillings are needed your dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance.

What if I don’t have gum treatment?

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss and more expense in the future. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own natural teeth. It also causes you risk of other systemic problems such as heart disease, stroke and alzheimer’s disease.