Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontics

Will the Periodontal Exam Hurt?

We will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.

Do I Need X-Rays?

We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us.

What Will Periodontal Treatment Cost?

Since all patients are different, your periodontist must complete your examination before establishing your treatment planning 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 usually be determined at the initial visit; but on occasion, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment planning 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 often cover periodontal treatment. Please bring all medical and dental benefit information and cards to your examination appointment. Upon request, we will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits; however, this is not required by most plans.

Will I Need Periodontal 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.

Can My Teeth Be Saved?

The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.

When Will I Go Back to My General Dentist?

Our office and your dentist will work closely together. 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. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own natural teeth.

Can I Be Sedated Using Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas”, is one option we offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

Do You Offer IV Sedation?

IV sedation helps you relax during a dental procedure. You will receive the medicine through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein). You will begin to feel drowsy and relaxed very quickly. Your breathing will slow down, and your blood pressure may drop a little. You will be monitored continuously during your procedure to make sure you are okay. You should not need help with your breathing, but you may receive extra oxygen through a mask or IV fluids through a catheter (tube) into a vein. You may fall asleep, but you will wake up easily and respond to people in the room. After conscious sedation, you may feel drowsy and not remember much about your procedure. Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities the day after your procedure.

Can I Be Completely Put to Sleep?

If you wish to be completely put to sleep, we can take you to the Winchester Medical Center and use the ambulatory surgery center. Drs. Hanson and Hahn are the only Periodontists in the area on the Winchester Medical Center staff. As a staff member of the hospital, they have the ability to offer ambulatory outpatient surgery, which is surgery that does not require an overnight hospital stay. If your anxiety level is such that you want to be put completely asleep, this is a good option. Ambulatory outpatient surgery adds some cost to the case, however, there is time savings for the patient. We try to take care of all the dental needs at the OR visit. Depending on your medical history, procedures may be completely covered by your medical insurance.