Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontics

Will the periodontal exam hurt?

Dr. Herrear is very gentle. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.  If the measuring is sensitive for you, we can place a topical anesthetic on your gums to help. ,

Do I need x-rays?

We will need current periapica 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. In most cases we need a full mouth series of xrays.  If there are none available they can be taken at C-Dental X-ray Lab

What will periodontal treatment cost?

Since all patients are different, Dr. Herrera 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 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.  You will receive a treatment estimate and we will give you an estimate of what your your insurance benefits will cover and what your share will be.  If there are options you will be given estimates for all the options.  We also will help to phase treatment so that it is more affordable. 

Will my insurance cover the cost?

Dental insurance policies often cover periodontal treatment. That being said, insurance companies have not raised the maximum allowances per year since the 1980’s.  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 plru dentans.  We will do our best to help you maximize your insurance benefits. 

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. Dr. Herrera has seen amazing results with nonsurgical periodontal care when patients take an active role and work on their oral hygiene at home and follow through with our recommendations as well as maintenance.  

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. We work as a team to bring you back to optimal health and function.   It is important for your gums and bone to be healthy before your dentist does crowns, bridges, etc.  Once your gums and bone are healthy we will give the green light for your dentist to complete your restorative care ie:  crowns, fillings etc.  Once your periodontal condition is stable and healthy we will alternate the professional periodontal cleanings; one with us and usually 3 months later one with your dentist. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance. You dentist will be taking xrays and checking for decay so it is critical that you keep seeing him/her.

What if I don’t have periodontal treatment?

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss which can result in tooth loss, systemic disease and more expense. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own natural teeth.  Implants to replace teeth are a viable option but are a big investment. If you can save your natural teeth you should.