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What to Expect on Your First Periodontal Visit

Your general dentist has determined that your gums require special care, and has referred you to a periodontist. Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease. By referring you to a periodontist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment to optimal dental care.

Periodontists have had extensive advanced training in the treatment of periodontal disease. As specialists, they devote their time, energy and skills to help people who need periodontal treatment. Periodontics is one of the eight specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

What happens on the first visit?

On your first visit, you will arrive 15 minutes early in order to complete all of the necessary forms to prepare for your first visit. We will then review your medical and dental history as well as any xrays you have brought with you or have been forwarded from your general dentist. If you have not had any xrays taken recently, you will be able to take them at our office at the time of your appointment. You will then be seeing Dr. Lindsay who will examine your gums, teeth and mouth. This examination will include looking at the color and firmness of your gums, studying which teeth are loose and checking how much gum tissue has been lost.

After gathering this information, Dr. Lindsay will discuss your condition with you and suggest the most helpful treatment for your dental health. In the earlier stages of gum disease, most of the treatment involves scaling and root planning, which means removing plaque and calculus in the pockets around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. This procedure is performed in our office in convenient 1 or 2 hour sessions by one of our specially trained Periodontal Hygienists under the care and supervision of Dr. Lindsay. In most cases of early gum disease, scaling, root planning, periodontal maintenance appointments (regular deep cleanings) and proper daily cleaning of the teeth are all that are required for a satisfactory result.

More advanced cases may require surgical treatment. The goals of this treatment are to remove calculus from deep pockets around the teeth, shrink the pockets, smooth root surfaces and arrange gum tissue into a shape that will be easier to keep clean. More information on each of these possibilities is included in our Patient Library under Periodontics. Whatever your treatment plan entails, Dr. Lindsay’s goal is to bring you to a state of good oral health, and then help you maintain it.

Does periodontal treatment hurt?

Improved equipment, local anesthetics and modern techniques make periodontal treatment more comfortable now than ever before. Effective methods of sedation can be used at your convenience to ensure that every visit is a stress-free one. As with other aspects of periodontal treatment, considerations for your comfort during and after treatment will be tailored to best suit your individual needs.


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