At Newhouse Periodontists, we want our patients to be as educated as possible, which is why we are providing the following information about periodontics and our practice. We are providing this information for your general knowledge. It should not take the place of a diagnosis or a consultation.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the most common chronic bacterial infection in the US population. More than 50% of Americans over 30 years of age have destructive gum disease. And it may come as a surprise that more people lose teeth to periodontal disease than to decay. Because it is typically “silent” (like high blood pressure can be) and does not hurt, people who have it are often unaware of their condition.
Gum disease begins when bacteria (germs) attach to the teeth. Without daily removal of the bacteria, the gums get red, swollen and bleed. It affects the support structures of the teeth (gums and bone) and without treatment can lead to tooth loss. Its earliest form — gingivitis — is reversible, but only with professional therapy and good home care.
When the infection advances to periodontitis, “pockets” (spaces between the gums and teeth) form. Bacteria continue to migrate into these pockets and lead the infection into the bone support of the teeth. If left untreated, gum and bone tissue are destroyed, teeth become loose and are subsequently lost. Despite this potentially scary-sounding scenario, the great news is that gum disease fortunately is treatable and preventable!
A periodontist is a dentist (DDS or DMD) who has had additional specialty training to become an expert in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases, placement and maintenance of dental implants, and the diagnosis and treatment of problems associated with the bone and soft tissues of the mouth, that affect your smile and the way you look.
A Board Certified Periodontist is certified by the American Board of Periodontology. A Board Certified Periodontist must be first certified as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree and then complete certification as a periodontist after successful completion of an educational program in Periodontology, which is accredited by Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Board Certified Periodontists must pass the comprehensive qualifying and oral examination covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, including dental implants, and be recertified every six years.
In addition to 4 years of college and 4 years of graduate dental school education, periodontists must receive an additional 3 years of training in a specialized and accredited residency program.
Periodontal diseases can lead to the loss of teeth and, as a result, the appearance of youthful vitality. More urgently, however, research shows that it can also critically affect an individual’s health, life expectancy, and quality of life. Specifically, links include those correlated with stroke and heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, respiratory problems, Alzheimer’s disease, pancreatic cancer, and more.
On your first visit to our office, we will learn about your current and past dental health, listen to your concerns and discuss your treatment goals and overall wellness needs. Then we will perform one of the most thorough dental examinations you’re likely to have ever experienced in order to help you learn about your dental condition and provide customized options for treatment of your specific needs. We want you to feel at ease during your visit. We’ll help you be as comfortable as possible as we provide options for treatment that work best for you while achieving your healthcare goals.
The #1 thing our patients want is a clear, honest conversation about cost.
We believe in an honest, upfront conversation about costs during our initial consultation. We strive to give you a good idea of the costs associated with your treatment and to make clear any contingency costs or treatment choices. In this office, we offer state-of-the-art treatments and procedures, though we don’t engage in or offer unproven undocumented therapies simply because they’re new or because they involve expensive equipment modalities which, while “sexy,” have limited proof of efficacy. We also don’t support “economy alternatives” to traditional, proven therapies if they are not likewise proven and efficacious. We expect to be able to treat your periodontal diseases or oral implant or esthetic periodontal needs effectively, at reasonable costs and with measurably predictable results.
We strive to provide clear explanation of the difference between required and optional treatment. We understand that patients do not typically “budget” for specialized dentistry treatments. Some, though by no means all, of our patients have dental insurance. We always work to maximize the benefits available to our patients with insurance. Nonetheless, we work for our patients, not an insurance company. We recommend treatment that is necessary to optimize your health, regardless of what your insurance company may pay for or allow.
Periodontal diseases can lead to the loss of teeth and, as a result, much of the appearance of the vitality of youth. More importantly however, are the research links established over the last few years between a number of chronic and acute systemic health problems that can critically affect an individual’s health, life expectancy, and quality of life.
It’s no longer enough to simply exercise, eat well and avoid excess in order to maintain good health and a high quality of life. It’s clear that maintenance of oral, and particularly “periodontal” health, is critical to maintaining good general health. An investment in your oral health is one that pays back over a lifetime. It pays you back at multiple levels and for years to come.
We passionately believe in the lifetime value of periodontal health and the synthesis between your periodontal and general systemic health. We pledge to always have an honest, upfront approach to discussing your treatment costs and provide optional treatments when it is appropriate.