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Endodontics & Periodontics FAQ
Periodontics and endodontics are fields of study that involve the interior of your tooth and the areas surrounding it. Here are some of the most common questions associated with these two fields and the problems associated with them.
What is endodontics?
Endodontics is the treatment of the interior of a tooth. More commonly, endodontics involves healing of the tooth pulp by performing a root canal. For more information about endodontics and root canals, visit our FAQ page on root canals.
What is periodontics?
Periodontics is the treatment of the tissue surrounding the teeth. A periodontist is someone trained in this field and can diagnose, heal, and prevent periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is known as gum disease and it often starts out with the buildup of plaque at the gum line. If this plaque isn’t removed by flossing and brushing, it will gradually harden into “tartar” and continue building up even further, becoming harder and harder to get rid of. When this plaque buildup gets infected, the gums become irritated and swollen. This is called gingivitis and it’s the first step to periodontal disease, which must be prevented early because it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and tooth loss.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
- Some symptoms of periodontal disease are hard to see because the infection grows underneath the gum. Be on the lookout for even small signs of:
- Inflamed gums
- Sore gums
- Blood when flossing or brushing your teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Teeth that appear longer due to the gumline receding
- Loose and shifting teeth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Chronic bad breath
Is periodontal disease treatable?
- Periodontal disease is both treatable and preventable! If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will want to remove any infection in your mouth by eradicating the bacteria beneath the gums and preventing it from regrowing. The method to do this will be chosen by your periodontist to best fit your needs. Some options include:
- Surgery of the gums
- Deep cleaning by a periodontist
- Prescription of certain tablets, mouthwash or gels
- Dental implants
- Periodontal therapy
- At-home prevention: toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwashes specifically made for gum disease
- In your examination, The periodontist can better explain your different options for treatment.
Will I need periodontal surgery?
Not always. Whether or not you need periodontal surgery depends upon the severity of the gum disease and how long it has been left untreated. However, if found early, your periodontist may be able to treat it without surgery. Overall, your treatment recommendations will be based on your situation, taking into account your comfort level.
What should I expect during my visit?
Your periodontist will begin by examining the area in need of treatment. They look for any bone loss, gum receding, jaw dysfunction, loose teeth, and other signs of periodontal disease. You might need to get an x-ray, if necessary. There should be little to no pain during this step and it allows your periodontist to select the best treatment option for you. Once they have a diagnosis, they can thoroughly explain to you the treatment options and answer any questions that you may have. Your periodontist wants you to leave with a thorough understanding of of your situation and what will be done to restore the health of your mouth.
What will it cost?
This is a complicated question. Every patient is different and the cost of treating periodontal disease depends upon the type of problem, the complexity of the treatment, and the length of time it will take. Usually a periodontist needs to conduct an examination in the initial visit. However, sometimes further diagnostics are needed. Once the periodontist completes the examination, they are able to finalize a treatment plan and fee based on your situation.
Will my insurance cover my periodontal treatment?
This is another complicated question based on your individual insurance policy. Many plans do provide partial or even full coverage of periodontal treatment. Please remember to bring all of your insurance information with you to your appointment so that your periodontist may get started right away.
Am I at risk of having periodontal disease?
- You might be at risk for periodontal disease if you:
- Use tobacco products or smoke
- Don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Have other health conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes
- Have family members who have suffered from gum disease.
If you need an endodontist or periodontist, our knowledgeable doctors can help in the treatment of your teeth, both inside and out. Contact us for your treatment!
4220 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72212
Phone: (501) 954-9900