Referral Information for Patients
You can refer yourself to see Dr King
If you are concerned about your gum condition or have any questions please call and our reception staff will be pleased to help you. Alternatively please fill in the form on the Self Referral Page.
What are periodontists and why have I been referred to one?
Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis & treatment of gum (periodontal) disease and dental implants. They are also known as gum specialists.
Your dentist has decided that your gums require this special care. By referring you to a periodontist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment to ensuring the best possible dental care for you.
To help you understand why specialist treatment might be needed, and how your teeth can be saved, this information sheet will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about gum treatment.
What are the signs of gum disease?
The signs of gum disease are bleeding, swollen gums, bad breath, gum recession, loose teeth, gaps appearing between teeth, pus and eventual tooth loss.
Gum disease is not painful and therefore often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed. It may only become evident at an advanced stage, after loss of bone and gum.
What causes gum disease?
Bacteria (plaque), growing under the gums around your teeth, lead to gum disease.
If left long enough, the plaque may solidify and form hard infected deposits on the tooth called calculus (tartar). You in particular are more susceptible to plaque than most people, which is why you are at risk of gum disease.
If the infection persists then the gums detach from the tooth to form a pocket, with loss of jawbone & the ligaments that anchor the tooth to the jawbone. Unless treated, you may end up losing the tooth.
What is the purpose of gum treatment?
Can gum disease be cured?
The main purpose of treating your gums is to remove infection and prevent further gum and bone damage. Techniques are available to regenerate lost gum and bone around diseased teeth.
What does gum treatment involve? How important is it to treat now or can I wait?
Most treatment first involves scaling & deep cleaning of infected roots (placing a thin instrument between the gum and tooth). This is commonly referred to as non-surgical treatment. Your gums can be numbed for this, if necessary for your comfort. Many areas in your mouth can be expected to respond favourably.
It is best to stop the disease process with treatment sooner rather than later. This helps to prevent further irreversible loss of your gums & bone. The number of visits needed depends on how much disease you have.
It is also essential to help you with your plaque control.
Does gum treatment hurt? Will I need to take time off work after I have had treatment?
No, modern techniques and equipment make gum treatment more comfortable now than ever before. Effective medications are available if needed to give you comfort after treatment without the need to take time off work. Our priority is to make your treatment a positive experience and as comfortable as possible.
How much will treatment cost and what are the benefits? The cost of treatment will vary depending upon your needs.
After Dr King has examined you and decided on the best recommendation for treatment, or whether you would benefit from dental implants, he will provide you with a written treatment plan and an estimate of the cost.
As you consider this health investment, keep in mind that treating gum disease is less costly and better for your health than replacing teeth lost because of gum disease. Treating gum problems will help achieve a healthy mouth and help prevent tooth loss.
What happens after my treatment? Will I be free from more gum disease?
Good plaque control at home and regular gum checkups are essential to keep gum health.
Once you have demonstrated good plaque control and your tissues have responded favourably, you should return to your dentist for continued general dental health care.
What can be done if I have advanced gum disease?
Sometimes periodontal surgery is needed to get the best tissue response (i.e. no bleeding, gum reattachment). This is particularly the case where there has been advanced bone loss. Periodontal surgery involves numbing your gums and gently lifting them a bit so that we can reach the deeper parts of the roots to clean and remove toxins. Before we can proceed with this type of treatment, a high standard of plaque control is essential.
I have already lost some teeth & would like dental implants, can I proceed with the implant treatment now?
If you have gum disease, then this infection needs to be brought under control first.
Gum health is essential before considering dental implants to replace any missing teeth. Otherwise, you may be risking gum disease around your dental implant.
What can be done if I have gum disease around a dental implant?
(also called peri-implantitis) If you have gum disease around a dental implant you need to get specialist help quickly, as bones can dissolve rapidly. Gum disease can occur around a dental implant for a variety of reasons. Dr King carefully assesses each situation and will discuss with you the best way to treat the infection.
What can be done for gum recession, gummy smiles or uneven gum lines?
Some types of gum recession can be treated by taking gum tissue, usually from the roof of your mouth and placing it over the recession. Special techniques ensure that the healing period is not painful.
This, and other cosmetic concerns such as gummy smiles and gum lines, can be discussed in detail at your consultation. It will be important to be clear about the causes of the condition (which may include gum disease) before deciding on any action.
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