The first stage in treating periodontal disease is the consultation appointment. It is vitally important for the ultimate success of any treatment that the severity and extent of the disease are established in advance. This is done by carefully measuring the position of the gums and whether or not spaces have developed between the gums and teeth (these spaces are called “pockets”). The depths of these pockets are registered on a special chart, which gives a permanent record of the level of disease present. As well as recording this chart a consultation also involves the taking of photographs and any necessary x-rays, which show the position and height of the bone supporting the teeth.
Once all the information has been collected a plan for treatment can be devised. Whenever possible, various treatment options will be presented and their merits and potential drawbacks discussed. By the end of the consultation you should feel fully informed about your condition and have an understanding of the treatment options and likelihood of success.
Because so much information needs to be recorded and discussed, a thorough consultation normally takes one hour. If your particular case is very complex you may be asked to return for a second appointment in order to discuss possible treatment options in greater detail. This is important and helps you make an informed decision about how your therapy should proceed.
A thorough examination requires an assessment of the amount and quality of the bone supporting your teeth. This means that X-rays are an essential part of this examination. Photographs are also important for documentation purposes.
Following the consultation I will prepare a report of the findings, both for yourself and your dentist. This will include a description of your condition and outline of the treatment options, along with a cost estimate for the work. Hopefully this will explain all you need to know in order to understand the extent of any gum disease and how best to treat it, however please feel free to contact me if you need further explanation.