TIMBERCREST DENTAL CENTER
I Was Diagnosed With Perio Disease – Now What? (Part 2)
Dr. John Luther, D.D.S. & Founder
November 27, 2012
You’ve just been seen by Dr. Luther and he’s diagnosed periodontal disease…Now what?
Treatment for periodontal (perio) disease ranges from non-invasive to surgery under general anesthesia:
- Non-surgical procedure called “Scaling and Root Planing” (SRP) – done at Timbercrest Dental Center by a Registered Dental Hygienist
- Referral to a specialist (Periodontist) for Surgery
Since its our custom to practice standard of care at Timbercrest Dental Center, we typically start with the least invasive method, which is the non-surgical procedure, SRP.
SRP is generally broken down according to number of teeth needing treatment:
- 1-3 teeth (this will be used if only one to three teeth exhibit deeper probe depth numbers during your scheduled cleaning or maintenance appointment)
- by quadrant if 4 or more teeth in a quadrant need attention (the mouth is divided into quadrants – upper-left, upper-right, lower-left and lower-right)
This may or may not be used in conjunction with a site-specific Minocycline antibiotic (in the Tetracycline family) called Arestin. Dr. Luther will determine if the addition of Arestin would benefit your specific Perio condition.
Note: It’s always a good idea for you (the patient) to check with your insurance company to see if they specify certain conditions for coverage; i.e. some insurance companies will cover Arestin only if its placed “X” number of days following the SRP procedure; some will only cover Arestin if placed the same day as the SRP procedure. Because each insurance plan is different, it is often difficult to know every clause for every plan. Our office insurance expert is top-notch, however, it is the end responsibility of the patient to understand their own specific insurance plan.
Once SRP has been performed, a perio maintenance appointment will be required at three month intervals, with the patient eventually graduating to six-month intervals when perio health warrants. This perio maintenance appointment replaces the standard six-month prophylaxis (cleaning).
Once a patient achieves “perio maintenance” status, the frequency of maintenance appointments depends on the periodontal condition; each patient’s condition is different, with each patient “graduating” to six month maintenance appointments at a different rate. We custom design treatment and frequency recommendations based on what we observe at each maintenance appointment.
While we try to work with insurance companies to get you the maximum benefit coverage, we always keep our patient’s best interest at the forefront of all recommendations. At Timbercrest Dental Center, we recommend treatment based on your needs, not on what your insurance company will cover!
As always, answers to your questions are only a phone call or email away.