As a periodontal dental specialist in Conroe and The Woodlands, Dr. Kip Saunders has to communicate closely with your referring general dentist. With gum disease, your care plan usually calls for a variety of preventative and disease-management strategies. This approach is to prevent the condition from relapsing and progressing into tooth loss.
But what does that process look like?
Your Initial Referral from a Dentist
If you’re seeing our periodontist in The Woodlands for the first time, you may or may not have already received an initial phase of gum treatment from your referring dentist. Either your provider may not have seen the results that they had hoped for, or they went ahead and sent you straight to our office because of the severity of your gum disease.
Gum Treatment in The Woodlands
Dr. Saunders will plan and deliver your initial series of periodontal treatments. These may include scaling and root planning, laser decontamination, gum surgery, grafting, or other types of therapies.
The biggest mistake people make is thinking that they’re finally “finished” with their gum treatments after they see a periodontal specialist. But that’s actually not the case.
Since gum disease never completely goes away, you’ll shift from a treatment plan to a maintenance plan. At this point in your oral health, our goal will be to help you prevent any relapse that would otherwise contribute to gum, bone, and tooth loss.
Periodontal Maintenance and Checkups
Once your initial gum treatment is completed, Dr. Saunders will communicate with your general dentist about a maintenance plan. Normally, this will look like an appointment every three months, with every other one being at our office. Essentially, you’re back to seeing your dentist every six months, but halfway between your regular checkups, Dr. Saunders is also seeing you twice per year.
What’s going on during your appointments? Here’s an example:
January – Checkup with your dentist.
You’ll complete your annual exam, periodontal evaluation, oral cancer screening, and a preventative or periodontal maintenance prophy (cleaning.) Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and existing dental work and provide restorative care (such as fillings or crowns) or cosmetic treatments as needed.
April – Visit with Dr. Saunders.
Your periodontal maintenance cleaning will involve a thorough cleaning of deep pocket areas that aren’t accessible during a regular preventative clean. Dr. Saunders will measure and evaluate your gum attachment levels, screen for recurring disease, and recommend adjunctive therapies if necessary, based on how you’re responding to previous treatment.
July – Checkup with your dentist.
Your six-month appointment, similar to the one you had in January.
October – Visit with Dr. Saunders
A repeat of your previous follow-up, to intervene against periodontal infections which are known to pop up more easily between “regular checkups.”
Dr. Saunders believes in close communication with your dentist in Conroe or The Woodlands. By working as a team, we can ensure the best response in your care and ensure that you have the healthiest smile possible.
Are you struggling with gum disease or tooth loss? Visit our gum health expert in Spring for an evaluation.