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Is this affordable dentist the reason I still have gum disease?

After a lengthy 2 month search, I finally found an affordable dentist. After 3 years of going to this dentist I expected better results. She has been treating me for gum disease for more than a year and a half and I really don’t think my teeth or gums look better. Would I have seen improvement faster if I had chosen a dentist with higher fees? I get a deep teeth cleaning every 3 months and my teeth are almost as loose as they were a year and a half ago. Does getting an affordable dentist mean that I won’t get quality care, or am I being impatient? How long does it take to get gum disease under control? Thanks. Liz

Liz – Your frequent visits to the dentist for scaling and root planing to treat your periodontal disease means that you have a severe case that is beyond the expertise of your affordable dentist.

Bleeding, sore, and inflamed gums, along with infections are signs of gum disease. If gum tissue and teeth continue to separate, your teeth can completely loosen and fall out. After almost two years, if your periodontal disease is about the same, it might be time for you to see a specialist—a periodontist—with two years of post-graduate training in diagnosing and treating issues with your gums.

Do All Affordable Dentists Provide Sub-Standard Care?

The length of time that you’ve been treated isn’t necessarily because you have found an affordable dentist. A dentist with higher fees might also assume that he or she knows how to successfully treat a particular case of periodontal disease when a specialist is really needed. It’s your oral health, so you can ask to be referred to a specialist for a second opinion, or if your insurance allows it, schedule the appointment yourself.

The appearance of your teeth at this point is probably related to the health of your gums. After your gum disease is under control, a cosmetic dentist can work with you to improve the appearance of your smile. It’s crucial to get a specialist to accurately determine why your periodontal disease isn’t improving. He or she will establish a treatment plan that will help you keep as many natural teeth as possible and get back on the path of good oral health.

In the future, you can find an affordable dentist who has good experience and training in general and cosmetic dentistry, and who recognizes when you should be referred to a specialist.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.