PERIODONTAL DISEASE

 

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal Disease is inflammation of the gums and supporting structures (i.e. bone, ligaments and connective tissue) under the gum line that hold teeth in place.   The most common symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, bad breath and in more advanced cases loose teeth.  With dental xrays the dentist will measure how much the inflammation has caused the natural bone levels of the jaw to receed, which then puts the teeth at risk.  This will then give an idea of how advanced the disease is.  It is estimated that a third of the population have periodontal disease, and 10% of this group are at very high risk of loosing teeth.

 

I have been told that I am at risk of losing my teeth and now I’m really worried, Is it really that serious?

You are part of a special group of patients that have a higher risk of losing teeth.  This sounds scary but the good news is periodontal disease is very manageable. We have a general dentist (not a specialist) called Sarovi  who works in the periodontal field, she will identify your risk factors and instruct you on how to care for your teeth to prevent the disease progressing.

Sarovi Drone BDS MFDS RCS

"I describe my treatment approach as very patient centred care.   This means I work with my periodontal patients to achieve the results they want, with no pain, lots of motivation, and some fun and laughter along the way”

 

Click here to listen to a video of Sarovi talking about periodontitis

 

How much will it cost?

The average cost for the first year with 4 to 6 weekly appointments is £1866. Patients say this is a lot of money, however if the disease responds very quickly then the cost of this will go down. As this is assessed every 4 weeks initially then by 3 months we will know how things are progressing.  After this first year if everything is stabilised then the estimated maintenance costs with visits to the hygienist and dentist will be approximately £600 per year.

Would it be cheaper not to treat and just see what happens?

A clinical study by Fardal et al*(please see reference below), showed that a lifetime cost of periodontal supportive therapy costs less than replacing 3 teeth with bridgework and maintaining dental health to support the bridgework. So the investment in periodontal care is more cost effective than replacing teeth.

Is it really that serious?

Only 10 to 15% of the population are at high risk of losing teeth, and with a first assessment Sarovi will be able to identify the likelihood of this happening.

*Clinical Reference: The Lifetime Direct Cost of Periodontal Treatment.  A Case Study From a Norwegian Specialist Practice.  Fardal O, O'Neill C, Gjermo P, Fardal E, Sandvik L, Hansen BF, Linden GJ.  Source  Private practice, 4370 Egersund, Norway. Abstract  Background: Successful periodontal treatment requires a commitment to regular life-long maintenance and may be perceived by patients to be costly. This study calculated the total lifetime cost of periodontal treatment in the setting of a specialist periodontal practice and investigated the cost implications of choosing not to proceed with such treatment.  Methods: Data from patients treated in a specialist practice in Norway were used to calculate the total lifetime cost of periodontal treatment which included baseline periodontal treatment, regular maintenance, re-treatment and replacing teeth lost during maintenance. Incremental costs for alternative strategies based on opting to forego periodontal treatment or maintenance and to replace any teeth lost with either bridgework or implants were calculated. Results: Patients who completed baseline periodontal treatment but did not have any further maintenance or re-treatment, could replace only 3 teeth with bridgework or 2 teeth with implants before the cost of replacing further teeth would exceed the cost of lifetime periodontal treatment. Patients who did not have any periodontal treatment could replace at most 4 teeth with bridgework or implants before a replacement strategy became more expensive.  Conclusion: Within the limits of the assumptions made periodontal treatment in a Norwegian specialist periodontal practice is cost effective when compared to an approach which relies on opting to replace teeth lost due to progressive periodontitis with fixed restorations. In particular patients who have initial comprehensive periodontal treatment but do not subsequently comply with maintenance could on average replace at most 3 teeth with bridgework or 2 teeth with implants before this approach would exceed the direct cost of lifetime periodontal treatment in the setting of the specialist practice studied.