Initial Peridontal Dentist Visit, San Diego CA
What will happen at my first visit?
During your first visit, Dr Hunt will complete a thorough evaluation of your periodontal condition. He will obtain a complete in-depth dental and medical health history, a dental and gum examination and review your dental x-rays. He will assess your bite, any loose teeth, and your jaw for bone loss. He will then educate you on your condition and provide you with all your options for treatment. Dr Hunt will work closely with you to decide on treatment that is clinically appropriate yet takes into consideration your personal needs. The first step of treatment may start during this visit. Dr Hunt strongly believes in collaborating fully with other dentists involved in your care to help you achieve overall dental health and well-being.
Please assist us with your initial evaluation by providing the following:
- Your referral slip (a referral is not required) and x-rays from your general dentist and/or specialist
- Your New Patient Registration Form filled out on-line or brought in with you
- Your insurance card, if you have dental insurance
- A list of medications, and their dosages, that you are currently taking
- The name and number of the Physician you are under the care of for a medical condition
- Kindly inform our staff if you need to pre-medicate prior to dental procedures
Appointments are carefully scheduled so you will be best served. This is a time reserved just for you. Please be prompt so that we can perform all treatment that has been scheduled. If you must reschedule, please allow 2 full business days for non-surgical appointments and 7 full business days for surgical appointments. This will allow us to use the time to serve the needs of another patient. A cancellation fee will apply if cancellations are not given in a timely manner.
Will I need x-rays?
We will need current x-rays in order to see the extent of periodontal disease below the gum line that is not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, we will request that they be forwarded to us. During the initial exam, if Dr Hunt needs more information about specific areas of concern, he may ask that selective x-rays be taken to assist him with his diagnosis and treatment planning.
Will it hurt?
We will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. We can offer you a topical anesthetic, as needed.
Will I need surgery?
Not everyone with periodontal disease needs surgery. Dr Hunt believes in a conservative, yet very effective, approach to treating periodontal disease. If treated early, gum disease can be controlled without surgery. There are cases where surgery is indicated and may be the only appropriate treatment. We will make recommendations based on your individual needs.
Can my teeth be saved?
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat and save most teeth. Dr Hunt is adept at helping regenerate lost bone in the jaw to help stabilize teeth to prevent tooth loss. Unfortunately, some teeth that have suffered extensive bone loss from longstanding periodontal disease may not be able to be saved. Dr Hunt will make his recommendations after more conservative treatment is provided first and the tooths poor prognosis is confirmed. On occasion, Dr Hunt may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed as they are not needed for function and tend to harbor bacteria.
What will it cost?
Since all patients are different, Dr Hunt must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fees for care. Dr Hunt will usually provide the least invasive treatment first, give your body the opportunity to heal itself then determine if further treatment is indicated. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the extent of treatment needed. We will be able to give you an estimated fee when Dr Hunt establishes your treatment plan.
What if I choose to not follow through with gum treatment?
Periodontal disease is a chronic, progressive disease process. Unfortunately, it is painless and so you are not alerted to the severity of your disease process until it has progressed. Delay may lead to further bone loss and more extensive and invasive treatment needs. If teeth are eventually lost, replacing them with dentures is an option but they are usually never as effective or as esthetic as your natural teeth.
When will I go back to my general dentist?
Our office and your dentists office will work closely together to determine when it is appropriate for you to return to them. If you need fillings, crowns or have other general dentistry needs during your time with us, you can be seen concurrently by both dentists. Regular visits to all dentists involved in your care are an important part of maintaining your dental health.