Why Your General Dentist is Important
In medicine, a team approach is vital to providing the best care possible. You don’t want your family doctor doing your heart surgery, and likewise, you don’t want your heart surgeon to treat your diabetes. This same team approach also works best in dentistry, particularly when you have a more advanced problem.
Often times after periodontal treatment, there is still restorative work to be done. Once your “foundation” is healthy, and then your general dentist can restore your mouth to its optimal level of function and esthetics. Our goal is to make sure you return to your referring dentist with your periodontal health and “foundation” at its optimum level.
Regular maintenance is the key to long-term success following active periodontal treatment since periodontitis is a chronic disease that you control (much like high blood pressure or diabetes). In most cases, an alternating maintenance schedule will be recommended, since it has been shown to be most effective. The benefit to you, the patient, is that you have the periodontist who will focus on your gums, and your general dentist, who will focus on your teeth. It’s just like if you’ve seen a cardiologist for your heart problem, once your developed heart problems you will need to continue to see your cardiologist as well as your family doctor. For more about maintenance, please check the sections under Periodontal Disease.
If you are a self-referral without a general dentist, then when we are finished with your treatment, we will refer you to a general dentist. We work with many terrific general dentists throughout upper East Tennessee and beyond. We will try to refer you to someone who we feel will fit your needs. Sometimes patients ask if we can do all the maintenance, but we strongly discourage this. Good dental health is best achieved through shared responsibility, as explained above.