Frequently Asked Questions
Will It Hurt?
We will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. Discomfort can sometimes occur if an area is infected. If this occurs, please inform Dr. Yamaoka right away as we want to make your examination as pleasant as possible.
Do I Need X-Rays?
Current periodontal x-rays are required in order to see conditions that are otherwise not visible. If your referring dentist has taken recent x-rays, we will ensure that we have them for your appointment. Restorative dentists commonly take bite wing x-rays to see cavities. For a periodontal assessment of your teeth, Dr. Yamaoka needs to see the root areas as well as the surrounding bone. We use the latest technology in digital radiography to ensure the lowest dosage of radiation possible.
What Will It Cost?
Since each patient’s condition can vary, Dr. Yamaoka must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the cost for your treatment. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the type of issues, as well as the complexity and length of treatment. An approximate fee can be determined at your examination appointment but usually, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan and estimate of cost can be established.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?
As with any investment, we want to know the steps required, length of time until completion and the cost involved. Dental insurance policies cover only the procedures outlined in the benefit package purchased by your employer. As this is an agreement between your employer and the insurance company, any concerns with your benefit package should be addressed with your human resources department. Please bring all dental benefit information to your examination appointment. We will submit a pre-determination to your insurance so that you are informed of what your insurance will cover and how much re-imbursement you will receive.
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 you as conservatively as possible to attain the long term treatment goals you desire.
Can My Teeth Be Saved?
Recent advances in periodontal treatment allows us to successfully treat most teeth. Sometimes, the disease has progressed too far and a tooth may be lost. Fortunately, if this situation occurs, we can usually turn to dental implants to replace lost teeth.
When Will I Go Back To My General Dentist?
Dr. Yamaoka and your dentist will work closely together. If crowns and fillings are required, your dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance. Once we have re-established ideal periodontal health, you will be directed back to your general dentist for your ongoing care. Depending on the severity of your condition, we may recommend that you continue to see us on an alternating recall basis with your general dentist. Dr. Yamaoka will determine the interval of this periodontal maintenance care.
What If I Don't Proceed with Gum Treatment?
Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. A delay in treatment can cause further bone loss and therefore, can cause more expense. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own natural teeth. Having an on-going infection in your body has been shown to be detrimental to your immune system and overall health. Recent studies have shown a strong connection of patients with periodontal disease being at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and worsened diabetic control.
Why shouldn't I see a Dentist who does both the Implant Surgery and Crown?
As with most things, rarely is it possible to be a master of everything. By having treatment by Dr. Yamaoka in combination with your general dentist, you gain the benefit of expertise from both areas of extensive training, implant surgery and restorative dentistry.