The following information will be very useful to you:
After you have scheduled your initial visit, you will receive an appointment card, a periodontal brochure, a registration form and a health questionnaire in the mail. Please complete the front and back sides of the forms and bring them with you 15 minutes prior to your appointment so we may input your information to our system. If you are unable to complete these forms in advance, please arrive 25 minutes early to complete any paperwork before seeing the doctor. (Please note that you can fill out your patient registration and medical history form on our website.)
Appointments are carefully scheduled so you will be best served. This is a time reserved just for you, so we ask that you be prompt to allow time to perform all treatment that has been scheduled. If you must reschedule, please allow 2 full business days.
We will begin your appointment by gathering your medical history and any other information that is relevant to your periodontal health. Please assist us at the time of your initial visit by providing our staff with the following information:
- Drivers License or government issued Identification Card (for identity theft prevention)
- Your referral card (referral is not required) and any x-rays from your referring dentist
- Your New Patient Registration Form filled out (both sides) online or brought in with you
- A list of medications and the dosages you are currently taking
- The name and number of the physician you are under the care of for a medical condition
- Any cards or forms issued by your dental insurance carrier (if applicable)
In accordance with American Heart Association prophylaxis recommendations, kindly inform our staff if you have a medical condition or concern requiring antibiotic pre-medication and pre-medicate prior to your initial visit and future dental procedures.
American Heart Association prophylaxis recommendations include artificial heart valves or joints; a history of having had infective endocarditis; certain specific, serious congenital heart conditions; or a cardiac transplant that develops a problem in a heart valve.
What will happen at my first visit?
We will listen closely to your concerns, conduct a thorough examination and offer our treatment recommendations. Our firm belief is that when patients understand all their options, they are better able to make informed decisions about their health.
Our comprehensive initial exam includes a thorough evaluation of your teeth and gums to discover signs of destructive periodontal disease, including gum pocket formation, gum recession, loss of bone and loosening of teeth. We will also complete bite and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) analyses, and you will be screened to rule-out signs of oral cancer or other oral pathology. If you are a candidate for dental implants, additional records (study models, special x-rays or cone beam CT scans) may be needed. At the end of the appointment we will discuss our findings, including your periodontal condition and specific treatment needs.
We promise to work closely with you to determine treatment that is clinically appropriate, yet takes into consideration your individual needs. After the exam we will continue to communicate with your general dentist regarding our recommendations.
We understand that some patients feel apprehensive about visiting our office for the first time. It has been reported by patients that this is generally a “fear of the unknown,” which is relieved by a good explanation of your recommended treatment and why it is necessary. We welcome any questions you may have and are confident that you will feel more at ease once you have all the facts.
So that we can properly prepare you, we typically do not schedule initial exams and treatment on the same day. This is because we want to make sure you have all the information you need and that all of your questions are answered prior to any treatment being provided. We would like you to be aware that there is a fee associated with your first visit. If you would like more information about that, please contact our office.
It is important that you continue to see your general dentist while undergoing treatment at our office so that your restorative needs continue to be addressed. We strongly believe in collaborating fully with other dentists involved in your care to help you achieve overall dental health and well-being.
We are available to respond to your concerns and encourage you to ask questions at any time. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Please note: All patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the initial visit.
Here are some questions that are commonly asked by our patients
Will the examination hurt?
We will be as gentle as possible to ensure your comfort. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort, but we can provide a topical anesthetic as needed.
Do I need x-rays?
We will need current x-rays in order to see the extent of periodontal disease below the gumline that is not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, please request that they be forwarded to us. During the initial exam we may need more information about specific areas of concern, requiring us to take selective x-rays to assist with complete diagnosis and individualized treatment needs. Special 3-dimensional scans are available in our office and are of great value in many cases, especially those related to dental implant placement.
What will it cost?
When you call the office, our staff will inform you of the cost of the initial exam and, if needed, x-rays. Since all patients are different, we must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. We will usually provide the least invasive treatment first, give your body the opportunity to respond to the initial therapy, and then determine if further treatment is indicated. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the extent of periodontal disease (gum disease) and the complexity and length of treatment. A cost of treatment can usually be determined after the initial visit.
Will my Insurance cover the cost?
Dental insurance benefits generally aid in decreasing your out-of-pocket expenses, and most carriers will reimburse a portion of 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 a guaranteed reimbursement.
While we are not directly involved with any insurance companies, we will do our best to help you derive maximum reimbursement from your dental insurance benefits. Our staff is dedicated to assisting you receive as much reimbursement as possible from your dental insurance benefits; but remember, this is done as a courtesy. Each patient is responsible for his or her treatment costs.
Will I need surgery?
Not everyone will benefit from periodontal surgery. If treated early, periodontal disease (gum disease) can be stabilized and managed without surgery. We will make recommendations based on your individual periodontal needs. Our practice philosophy is to treat as conservatively as possible to achieve the best results. However, there are cases where surgery is indicated and may be the only appropriate treatment. Please remember that management of your periodontal disease process requires a partnership between our expertise and your dedicated participation in recommended treatment.
Can my teeth be saved?
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat and save most teeth. With routine periodontal treatment, we are able to assist you in maintaining a stable periodontal condition, providing a strong foundation that supports your natural teeth. We are proficient at regenerating lost bone in the jaw to help stabilize teeth to prevent tooth loss. Unfortunately, some teeth that have suffered extensive bone loss from long-standing periodontal disease may not be able to be saved. After a conservative treatment has been provided, a re-evaluation exam may reveal further treatment needs. On occasion, we may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed, as they tend to harbor bacteria. If teeth are eventually lost, dental implants offer an excellent option.
When will I go back to my general dentist?
As specialists, Dr. Seibert and Dr. Suleiman-Ata provide expertise in periodontal health and maintenance while working in conjunction with your general dentist, who provides excellent care in restorations (such as fillings, crowns, bridges and dentures). Regular visits to your general dentist are essential to keeping your mouth healthy and preserving your smile.
What if I choose to not follow through with gum / periodontal treatment?
Periodontal disease is a chronic, progressive disease process. Unfortunately, it is painless and you may not be aware of the severity of your disease process until it has progressed. Delay may lead to further bone loss, loosening of the teeth and gingival recession. Delaying your treatment could result in premature loss of teeth and may require more extensive and invasive treatment needs, which more than likely will increase your expense.