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Northeast Georgia Periodontics

& Center for Dental Implants

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Your First Visit 
What Is A Periodontist?

A Periodontist is a Dentist who takes additional years of education beyond dental school to train in periodontal specialties, cosmetic surgery, the placement of dental implants, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases. Dr. John B. Taylor received extensive medical training in these additional areas, including the latest techniques for placing implants, performing cosmetic periodontal plastic surgery, and in diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases. If you have been referred to a Periodontist, your first visit will be for a Comprehensive Periodontal Exam.



What Should I Bring to My First Visit? 

  • X-rays from your referring dentist
  • Paperwork from your referring dentist 
  • Copies of medical and dental insurance cards
  • List of all current medications
  • List of any concerns about your mouth
  • List of all medical/health issues


What Happens During a Comprehensive Exam?

During a Comprehensive Periodontal Exam, the periodontist usually reviews the patient’s complete medical and dental histories. It is extremely important for the periodontist to know if any medications are being taken or if the patient is being treated for any condition that can affect periodontal care, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or pregnancy. Our patients are generally referred to our Office by their Dentists for a specific reason, however a complete exam by the periodontist is necessary before any course of treatment can be recommended.


The Periodontist will examine the gums, check to see if there is any gum line recession, assess how the teeth fit together when biting, and evaluate if any teeth are loose. The periodontist will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets, which helps to determine the health of the gums. Six data points are assessed and physically measured around each tooth during this thorough Examination. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of bone around the teeth. Our Office uses only state-of-the-art digital x-ray technology which reduces radiation by up to 90%. X-rays taken are then sent to large, flat panel screens for Dr. Taylor and the patient to review, evaluate, plan, and design a customized treatment plan.  Collaboratively, Dr. Taylor and the patient will review the exam results, individual concerns, and set the goals of treatment.


The Comprehensive Periodontal Exam typically includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • TMJ (tempomandibular joint) evaluation
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Signs of infection
  • Periodontal pockets
  • Tooth mobility
  • Gum recession
  • Bone health
  • Salivary glands
  • Lymph nodes
  • Tongue
  • Inner cheeks
  • Floor and roof of mouth
  • Level and type of gum inflammation (infection)
  • Occlusion (bite) issues
  • Missing and malposed teeth
  • Tooth grinding, clenching, bruxism or other dental problems
  • Xray evaluation
  • Cosmetic concerns



How Long Will My First Visit Last?

Your initial comprehensive exam typically lasts approximately 30-75 minutes.



What Should I Tell the Periodontist on My First Visit?


Your fears — Many people have fears of the dentist that go back to childhood. Pain control and treatment techniques change constantly. The things you fear most may not exist any longer, or there may be new and improved ways of dealing with them. If you fear you have a particular disease or condition, let your dentist know. He or she can look for signs and either diagnose the problem or set your mind at ease. Often, just talking about your fears will allow patients to increase their knowledge and understanding of their specific situation and help to alleviate fears.

Your overall health — Tell your periodontist if you've been diagnosed with any diseases or are taking any new medicines. It is important to tell your dentist about all medicines you take. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Even diseases that seem to be unrelated to the mouth may require a different approach to dental treatments or prevention.  Let your periodontist know if you have any heart problems or artificial valves or joints. 


Your dental health — Before the examination starts, tell your Periodontist if:

  • Your teeth have become sensitive
  • You feel lumps inside your mouth
  • You have a sore spot in your mouth that hasn't healed in more than two weeks
  • Your teeth seem loose
  • You have chronic bad breath
  • Your teeth appear longer
  • Your gums seem to be receding
  • You see blood on your toothbrush when you brush your teeth
  • Your gums seem red or blue
  • Your gums seem puffy or swollen

Please don't wait to see if your dentist catches the problem or silently hope he/she misses it.  By telling your Periodontist about your symptoms, you may to make an early diagnosis.  Mention everything about your health, even if you don't think it relates to your mouth. Many diseases can affect your mouth and teeth. Researchers continue to discover ways in which oral health is related to overall health. For example, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.  Research also suggests that periodontal infection can affect your blood sugar levels. It can make your diabetes harder to control. Other health conditions may require your dentist to change the type of anesthesia given.  Be sure to bring a list of all medicines you are currently taking, with dosages. Some medicines cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of cavities. Your Periodontist will also want to check that any drug he or she prescribes doesn't interact with drugs you are already taking.

Do I Need X-Rays?

Current x-rays are typically required to properly diagnose and plan treatment goals. Your periodontist will likely require periapical x-rays to show the extent and pattern of bone health around each tooth. Periapical x-rays show the entire tooth, from the crown (top) to the end of the root, which anchors the tooth in your jaw. Some conditions may require an x-ray of your entire mouth, which gives details regarding other important structures in your skull, including bone density, maxillary sinuses and jaw joints.  Bitewing x-rays are wonderful for locating cavities and other tooth anomalies, but are not particularly beneficial to the needs of a periodontist.  If your referring dentist has taken periapical x-rays or full mouth x-rays you may request that they be forwarded to our office.

If there is not enough time for the x-rays to be sent, please pick up your x-rays and bring them to our office. If additional x-rays are necessary, they can be taken at our facility. Our office uses only state-of-the-art, digital x-ray technology, which reduces radiation by up to 90%. X-rays are a critical element in evaluating dental needs, planning options, and carrying out a successful treatment plan.  Additionally, insurance companies often require recent x-rays for reimbursement of dental benefits. Our office is exceptional, offering rare, cutting-edge equipment capable of taking digital 3D images of the mouth and underlying structures.  X-rays taken at our office are sent to large, flat panel screens for the doctor and patient to collaboratively review, evaluate, plan, and design a customized treatment plan. 

How Much Will Periodontal Treatment Cost?

Since all patients needs are unique, the periodontist must complete an examination before establishing a treatment plan and the fee for care. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the type of problems and the complexity and length of treatment. An approximate fee is typically given at the initial visit; however, some types of treatment are staged and further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals. 

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost of Periodontal Treatment?

Dental insurance policies vary greatly in benefit amounts available. We will be happy to create and submit insurance claims for all of our patients.  Please bring your medical and dental benefit information and insurance cards to your examination appointment. 

Will It Be Painful?

These days, no one should be expected to endure pain at the dental office!  In the old days of dentistry, dental procedures were performed with no anesthesia by your local barber.  Numbing medicine was not available, so if a patient needed pain control, he or she was hit on the head and literally "knocked out" or would routinely undergo surgery until they lost consciousness from the pain.

Fortunately, today's methods of anesthesia are much different and very effective!  With current technological advances, periodontal procedures can be completed with virtually no discomfort whatsoever.  Doctor Taylor has vast resources and advanced techniques available to assist the patient in a virtually pain free dental experience.  These include very expensive, cutting edge computerized injection technology equipment in each room, resulting in minimal or no pain during injection and dental procedures. Additionally, Doctor Taylor is very gentle and has many combinations of anesthesia and sedation available to help patients with their vist, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), medication, conscious sedation and deep sedation.  Most patients at our office express how easy and painless their visits are. We welcome you to experience our office with a virtually pain free and enjoyable experience!


Please Note: All patients under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.