Frequently Asked Questions

What Will Happen On My First Visit?

Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:

  • Your referral slip (if you have one) and radiographs (x-rays) from your referring dentist.
  • Fully completed Medical History form (see below).
  • A list of medications you are currently taking.
  • If you require antibiotics before dental treatment, please take your medication before your consultation (or any other visit) as directed by your physician.
  • If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.

All patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment. Boldface this?

Please note we do not offer a printed version of our health history form as we are a paperless office. 

At your first visit we will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history and conduct a thorough dental examination.

Will It Hurt?

Exams are completed with little or no discomfort. Any treatment recommended will include a discussion of post-treatment discomfort if it is thought some may occur. During treatment you will be numb and we do not work on patients if they are uncomfortable.

Do I Need Radiographs (X-Rays)?

We will need current radiographs (x-rays) in order to see disease not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken radiographs, you may request that they be forwarded to us. In certain situations, additional or new radiographs are required to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Our office uses state of the art digital radiography, which significantly reduces radiation exposure.

What Will It Cost?

Since all situations are not the same, Dr. Suttle or Dr. Pierce must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. The fee for periodontal treatment or dental implants 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 evaluation must be completed before the final treatment planning/fees can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals, even if that means recommending no treatment.

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?

Dental insurance policies often cover some portion of periodontal treatment, and may cover a portion of dental implants. Please bring all medical and 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 required by most plans. Information on our insurance policy can be found here.

Will I Need Surgery?

Not everyone needs surgery. Periodontal disease and recession, if found and treated early, 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 treatment goals.

Can My Teeth Be Saved?

The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth.

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.  Once your periodontal disease is under control, we will begin alternating your periodontal maintenance (cleanings, recalls) between our office and your general dentist’s office.

What If I Don’t Have Gum Treatment?

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection (much like heart disease can be as an example). Delay can lead to further bone loss, more expense, and possibly the loss of multiple teeth. If your teeth are lost, dentures may seem easier but they are never as effective to chew and talk with as your own natural teeth.

Research has shown that an infection in your gums may affect your overall health as well. Bacteria that cause periodontal disease can enter the blood stream, with evidence indicating this can lead to an elevated risk of stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis, and can affect the control of diabetes. To learn more visit The Mouth-Body Connection section of our website.