What will happen at 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 a FULL-MOUTH SET OF PERIAPICAL RADIOGRAPHS from your referring dentist. Every patient must have a full mouth set of x-rays so Dr. Habekost can do a complete examination. We will take your x-rays at a small additional fee if you do not have one. We use a state of the art digital x-ray system to reduce the amount of radiation (some 90%) and we do not have to develop films. If you have a general dentist, we will send your dentist a copy of your x-rays and a letter explaining your periodontal health and the treatment planned in our office.
- Please bring your completed Patient Registration/Medical History Form, along with 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.
Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to your exam (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring pre-medication, severe diabetes, or hypertension.)
We will review your medical and dental health history and perform a thorough examination to measure bone loss, gum recession, loose teeth, an abnormal bite, and other signs of periodontal disease. In addition, we will screen you for oral cancer, and check for any TMJ abnormalities.
Will it hurt?
Dr. Habekost will be as gentle as possible. A periodontal exam can usually be completed with little or no discomfort. Dr. Habekost never forgets that you are in complete control of your oral health care, including just a simple exam. If you experience any discomfort, just let Dr. Habekost know; he will stop immediately and modify techniques to make comfortable and happy!
Do I need x-rays?
We will need a current full-mouth set of x-rays in order to see diseases and any dental concerns that you may have. Radiographs are vital to do a complete diagnosis. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they are forwarded to us, or we will take them to our office. For Dental Implants, a quick, 20-second CBCT scan is needed to allow proper 3-dimensional treatment planning utilizing our state of the art software.
What will it cost?
Since all patients are different, Dr. Habekost must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. 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.
Will I need surgery?
Not every patient with periodontal disease 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 mutually established treatment goals.
Can my teeth be saved?
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth. We are always continuing our education so we can offer you the latest treatments available. There are many new advances made every day to treat periodontal problems. In the case of hopeless teeth, extraction may be the best treatment; only with your full consent and understanding will any treatment be undertaken.
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. You will return to your Dentist after periodontal treatment is complete for cleanings and regular check-ups. You can think of dentistry in terms of building a house; Dr. Habekost makes a solid foundation, and then your dentist builds your restorations on this foundation.
What if I don’t have gum treatment?
Unfortunately, periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection with some potentially dire consequences even outside of your mouth. Untreated periodontal disease is linked to many other health problems, including heart disease, strokes, respiratory disease, pre-term labor, and low birth weight babies. Periodontal disease also accelerates all the problems associated with diabetes, in addition to taking control of diabetes much more difficult. Delaying treatment will cause you further bone loss, resulting in tooth loss and other health issues. Postponing treatment makes treating periodontal disease more difficult to treat and becomes more expensive. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own teeth. Implants are a wonderful alternative to dentures, but if possible, it is always better to keep your own teeth!