Frequently Asked Questions

Will It Hurt?

Dr. Alvarenga tries his best to be as gentle as possible. This is very important to him! The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. Sedation is available along with local anesthetic (i.e.-Novocaine) for actual treatment.

Do I Need X-Rays?

We will need current 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. A full periodontal exam requires a full mouth series of x-rays (about 12-16 individual x-rays). “Bite-wing” x-rays are usually not very helpful. If implants are planned we may need to take a special 3D x-ray survey (Cone Beam CT Scan).

What Will It 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 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.

Can My Teeth Be Saved?

Success with periodontal therapy depends on two factors. Patient cooperation is the most important determinant for success. Proper home care (brushing and flossing) is crucial. Smoking is a major deterrent to success in the treatment of periodontal (and most) diseases. The second factor is timing. The sooner we treat, the higher the success rate.

Don’t wait until it hurts to seek treatment!

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 Supportive Periodontal Therapy (periodic cleanings or 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.

What if I choose to put off having dental implants?

Dental implants help to preserve your jawbone. Once teeth are lost, jawbone loss soon follows and is progressive. The longer you wait to have dental implants the less bone that will be available to place the implants.