Frequently Asked Questions

What Will Happen On My First Visit?

Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:

  • Your referral slip and radiographs (x-rays) from your referring dentist. (If they were not sent by mail/ e-mail)
  • A list of medications you are currently taking
  • If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.

PLEASE NOTE: All patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment and all treatments and follow up visits.

Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to surgery (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring pre-medication, severe diabetes, hypertension, history of treatment for osteoporosis / osteopenia; relevant allergies to medications, antibioticsetc).

We will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history and a thorough examination to measure for bone loss, loose teeth, bite, oral cancer screening, TMJ, and other signs of periodontal disease.

Will It Hurt?

We will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.

Do I Need Radiographs (X-Rays)?

We will need a set of current periodontal radiographs (in most cases a full series is needed; taken within the last 1-2 years) in order to see disease not otherwise visible. Your general dentist may forward any recent radiographs to us or we may need to update them during your first visit.

What Will Treatment Cost?

Since all patients are different, Dr. Wang and / or Dr. Vest must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for your specific treatment needs. 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 plan can be established. At times unanticipated circumstances are presented at time of treatment and alternative treatment recommended. Treatment costs may change (increase or decrease) pending the agreed upon course of treatment by both the patient and the doctor. 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 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. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals

Can My Teeth Be Saved?

The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.

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 periodontal maintenance. Ideally, once an improved periodontal health condition has been established, a three month alternating cleaning schedule is established between our office and your general dental office. This will help maintain health and reduce or slow the progression of disease and reduce chances of relapse or re-infection.

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 replace the missing teeth and are never as effective as your own teeth.

What is Periodontics?

Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

What is a Diplomate?

A Diplomat is a periodontist who is certified by the American Board of Periodontology.

What Does It Mean To Be A Diplomate?

A Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology is a periodontist who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty.

To be educationally qualified for Board certification requires:

  • Certification as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree and;
  • Certification as a periodontist after at least 3 years of postdoctoral study in an ADA approved program. This period of study is concentrated on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease.
  • In addition to the educational requirements, Board certification requires:
  • Comprehensive oral and written examinations covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, including dental implants.
  • Presentation of detailed reports on a broad range of actual treatment personally provided by the periodontist.

What This Means To You As A Patient?

Your periodontist has been examined by a panel of internationally respected peers and awarded Diplomate status.

Your periodontist has received one of the highest recognitions of achievement afforded by the specialty.

By successfully completing the examination process, your periodontist has demonstrated motivation for:

  • Continued professional development
  • Self evaluation
  • Critical review of results of therapy
  • Interest in providing the best, most up to date care.

What Is The American Board of Periodontology?

The American Board of Periodontology was founded in 1939 to elevate the standards and advance the science and art of periodontology by encouraging its study and advancing its practice. It is officially the oldest ADA recognized specialty board and is the only national certifying board in the dental specialty of Periodontics.

For over fifty years the Board has served the public and profession by:

  • Creating and administering a certification process to identify experts in the field of periodontics.
  • Creating and administering a re-certification process to maintain expertise.
  • Granting and issuing Diplomate certificates to certified experts.
  • Furnishing on request, to patients, insurance companies, and hospital administrators, a list of Board certified Diplomates.