For the administrative team
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please have your current insurance information with you (group/policy number and certificate/member ID number). Provide us with a list of medications you are presently taking (OTC and Prescription). If you are under extensive health care (e.g. Cardiologist) please bring in their contact information with you.
What Will It Cost?
Because all patients are different, we need to perform an assessment of your mouth before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. The fee for treatment can vary depending on your periodontal needs (the length and type of treatment required). An approximate fee can normally be determined at the initial visit; however, certain initial treatments or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established. But rest assured, we strive to provide the most conservative and practical treatment that will help attain your treatment goals.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?
Dental insurance policies frequently cover periodontal treatment. However, not all procedures are always covered by insurance policies. Most insurance policies usually cover only a portion of treatment and they will only cover the procedures outlined in your benefit package negotiated by your employer. Upon request, we can submit a pre-authorization to your insurance company.
Please note we are a non-assignment office – this means that we do not accept payment from your insurance company. The patient pays in full at every visit and receives reimbursement from the insurance company. (We will submit the paperwork to insurance as a courtesy to you).
Does the office run on time?
Our office consistently runs on time. However, due to the surgical nature of our practice, we cannot always foresee circumstances when a patient may need more time than was allocated for them. We will do our best to provide the best level of service given the situation, and want you to be confident in the knowledge that you will get the same treatment should the need arise.
Why does my appointment time sometimes change from when I first booked it?
Since our treatment is individually tailored for each patient, the length and type of appointments booked will vary from day to day, and from patient to patient. Due to this, if there are any schedule changes (last minute cancellations), it can affect other patients’ previously scheduled visits. It is very difficult for us to predict whether your appointment time will change, but we find that these changes are typically minimal (15-30 minutes earlier or later). We ask for your understanding in this matter.
Will It Hurt?
We strive to be as gentle as possible with all our procedures. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.
Do I Need X-Rays?
We will need current x-rays in order to properly diagnose treatment for you. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us. We still may need to take additional films once we see you for an exam. If you are receiving implant therapy, often we will have you see a radiologist who will take a 3D x-ray of the area of interest.
Will I Need Surgery?
Not everyone needs surgery. Gum disease can be controlled without surgery, if it is treated early. However, whether or not you need surgery will be determined based on your specific oral health and treatment needs. Also, do remember that a Periodontist is the health care provider of dentistry. It is always our goal to preserve and maintain teeth whenever it is possible and practical to do so.
Will I have to be sedated for a surgery?
In our practice we use the same anesthetic that you would receive at your dentist’s office. It is a local anesthetic that allows you to be awake and drive yourself to and from your appointments.
If you are nervous/anxious about the procedure we can provide you with a mild sedative that requires you to be at your appointment one hour prior, and you will require someone to drive you home after your treatment.
What needs to be done in preparation for the surgery?
We ask that you DO have a good meal (breakfast/lunch) before the procedure as you are booked for a long visit and we want to ensure that your blood sugar levels are stable. Please take it easy for the rest of the day.
When Will I Go Back To My Family Dentist?
Our office and your dentist will work closely together in your treatment. We recommend you see your dentist for yearly checkups so they can keep up with any needed restorations (crowns and fillings) necessary to maintain dental health and function.
Our team will make recommendations only after consulting with you and your referring dentist. Depending on the severity of your condition we may recommend that you continue to see us on a regular basis for a period of time determined by the Periodontist or on an alternating recall basis with your family dentist. Please remember that regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance.
What if I decide not to have periodontal treatment done?
Periodontal disease is a progressive, often painless infection that will only continue to progress and cause further bone loss and possibly tooth loss. This can result in more expensive treatment in future. Keep in mind that replacements are never as effective as your own natural teeth.
All this information and more is on our Post-Operative sheet that will be sent home with you after your surgery.
A dressing is placed by the doctor as a tool to protect the surgery site, keep the tissue in place and to apply pressure for the first couple of hours.
If the dressing comes off: Not a problem
If the dressing is loose: gently remove it. DO NOT put it back in place. It will rub on the surgery site and disrupt healing.
If the dressing is attached to a suture: Give us a call.
If the dressing comes off and you think you swallowed it: Not a problem! It will pass.
Please remove the dressing if it is still in place 7 days post-surgery. If it stays in place longer it will impair the healing.
If you see a “discoloured” strip over the surgery area once the dressing is off: It is probably the collagen tape. This is part of the surgical bandage we placed. It should come off on its own.
Please note, there is often a small amount of bleeding on the first day following surgery.
Where is the bleeding coming from?
Palate: After soft tissue grafting, minimal bleeding off and on from the palate is ok. Keep your activity low for up to a week and apply firm pressure with a moist gauze in place.
If you have bleeding from the palate that won’t stop after sitting down and applying 30 minutes of gauze pressure, try a moist tea bag (not herbal) on the palate with thumb pressure. If that does not work, then please call the office or the doctors’ emergency numbers given to you at the time of your surgery if it is after hours. Go to the emergency unit only as a last resort.
All Other Surgery Sites – We would like you to come in for an assessment, if standard pressure as described above, does not control the bleeding.
How long do I use the Chlorhexidine Rinse?
This information is on the Post-Operative sheet that went home with you. Please check that first as each surgery is a bit different.
Typically 2-3 weeks with the RINSE
1 to 3 weeks with the GEL
Then an ultra-soft post-operative tooth brush that we supply can be used. Use for a period of 2-4 weeks before resuming regular brushing.
Ok to brush after above are completed and ok to floss one week after brushing starts.
When can I eat?
You can start to eat right after surgery but we advise you wait to chew anything until after the freezing wears off.
Please do NOT chew on the surgery site. Eat only softer foods on the opposite side of your mouth. (This can be for several weeks, depending on the type of surgery).
What can I NOT eat?
Nothing with small seeds in it (for at least 2 weeks or until your first follow-up visit): Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, raspberries or strawberries. They can lodge in the surgery area and create infection.
Nothing hard or crunchy: Peanuts, popcorn, potato chips as they tend to move around and can hit and traumatize the area.
Do I have an infection?
Signs of an infection:
- Throbbing/increasing pain
- Increasing swelling that goes beyond 3-4 days post-surgery
- Possible swollen glands
- Possible foul taste/smell
- Please note, it is quite normal to have post-surgical swelling, pain, and/or bruising, but this should start to decrease after about 4-5days.
Post-Operative instructions will vary for each patient so please go by what you were given after your surgery.