What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a specialist dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond their training as a dentist. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Dr. Ken Crasta is a registered specialist periodontist with the Australian Dental Board.
Why has my dentist/hygienist referred me to a periodontist?
Although all dentists and hygienists receive training in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, it is usual practice to manage patients with moderate or severe periodontal disease in a partnership between the dentist/hygienist and a periodontist, who will have undertaken additional training and acquired special expertise in this field. A periodontist will work with the general dentist or hygienist to best manage the treatment of advanced cases. Periodontists are also best placed to treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those patients who are highly susceptible to gum disease or those with a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical and regenerative procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement and repair of dental implants.
Dr. Ken Crasta is a periodontist with extensive experience in the fields of Periodontics and Dental Implants and treats complex cases every day at his practice.
Do I still need to see my general dentist in addition to visiting a periodontist?
Yes. Your general dentist is still the best person to look after your overall dental health. Regular check-ups with your dentist, in addition to any periodontal care that you require, are essential.
How painful is periodontal treatment?
Periodontal treatment is completely pain free thanks to the administration of local anesthetic prior to the procedure in order to ensure full anesthetization of the teeth and gums. Patients always report that they were much more comfortable during the procedure than they had anticipated. At Townsville Periodontics and Dental Implants our focus is firmly on patient comfort and all treatment is immediately ceased if a patient at any time reports any discomfort or pain.
How painful are the local anesthetic injections?
Every effort will be made to minimize the pain felt during the delivery of local anesthetic priorp to a procedure. A topical numbing gel will be placed on the gums in order to minimize the discomfort of the needle going through. A slow injection technique will be utilized and this has also been proven to minimize the discomfort felt. If you are particularly anxious about needles then it is important to let the periodontist know this right at the beginning at the consultation appointment.
What will a consultation appointment involve?
During the first visit the patient’s complete medical and dental histories will be reviewed. It is extremely important for the periodontist to know if any medications are being taken or if the patient is being treated for any medical condition that can affect periodontal care, such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy.The periodontist will then perform a thorough examination of the gums. This assessment will involve checking to see if there is any gum recession, assessing how the teeth bite together and checking if any teeth are loose. The periodontist will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and determine the depth of the gap between the teeth and gums, known as a periodontal pocket. This examination is performed at little or no discomfort to the patient. Any bleeding that may be present during these measurements will also be recorded. X-rays may be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line. All this information will help the periodontist assess the health of the gums and then put together a treatment plan.
Following the clinical assessment, the periodontist will have a detailed discussion with the patient explaining their specific diagnosis or condition to them before formulating and explaining their individualized treatment plan in detail. Following this, the timings and costings of the patient’s treatment plan will be discussed with the patient at reception before appointments for appropriate treatment are booked in.
What should I bring to my consultation appointment?
- A referral letter and relevant recent radio graphs if these have not already been forwarded directly to the periodontist by your dentist or hygienist.
- Patient medical history form (which can be downloaded and filled out on this website)
- Details of all medical conditions that you suffer from and list of any medications.
- Private health insurance card if you have dental extras as part of your policy. HICAPS facilities are present at the practice that can be utilised to process your claims directly.
- Other relevant documentation such as a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) card or WorkCover paperwork if the costs for your treatment are being covered by a third party.If you have been advised by your doctor or medical specialist that you have to take antibiotics prior to dental treatment then please take the required dose of prophylactic antibiotics one hour prior to your consultation appointment with us. Your doctor should be able to provide you with a script for these antibiotics. If unsure whether you need to take antibiotics then please contact our practice.
- Please note that all patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to their consultation appointment.
What types of payment are accepted at the practice?
Payment is accepted at the practice in the form of cash, cheque, EFTPOS and credit (VISA and MasterCard). HICAPS facilities are also available for your convenience. All payment is due on the day of the appointment.
What is the practice appointment cancellation or no show policy?
Following your consultation appointment, you will be provided with an appointment card with the dates of your future treatment appointments written on it. At Townsville Periodontics and Dental Implants, we also provide a courtesy reminder phone call 1-2 business days prior to your appointment, on the phone number that you have provided us, to make sure you do not forget your appointment and to ensure your appointment schedules are maintained. However, if you do not receive your reminder call, your scheduled appointment remains your responsibility.
We understand that sometimes unplanned issues can come up and you may need to cancel an appointment. If this is the case then we respectfully ask that you notify us as soon as possible and certainly more than 2 business days before your scheduled appointment. You can notify us by ringing us on 07 4728 2332 or by sending us an Email at [email protected]
A penalty applies if an appointment is missed or cancelled without 2 business day’s notice. This penalty is as follows:
- For all patients who cancel within 48 hours, another appointment will not be rescheduled until a $200 advance payment is made.
- This $200 payment will serve as a credit for future services. You only need to keep your next appointment to avoid any financial loss.
- This $200 will be forfeited if a further appointment is missed or cancelled without proper 48 hr + notice.
Unfortunately, we have had to implement this policy due to appointments being cancelled with little or no notice. Many health care practices operate with similar cancellation policies. When patients do not attend (no show) or cancel appointments without adequate notice we are unable to fill our vacancies or offer available times to other patients on our waiting list, many of who need urgent specialist periodontal care. We thank you for being a valued patient and for your understanding and cooperation in our institution of this policy. It will enable us to utilize otherwise unused appointments to better serve the needs of all our patients.
What is the cost of a consultation appointment?
The cost for a consultation appointment will be quoted to you at the time of making your appointment. This cost includes a full periodontal charting followed by a thorough, extended discussion about the findings and their implications. Additional costs may be borne if further information such as clinical photographs or radiographs are required. A treatment plan will then be formulated and explained to you. The cost of the consultation also includes a written report to your dentist. Fees for the consultation are required to be paid at the time of the consultation appointment.
What does treatment for periodontal disease cost?
The cost for periodontal treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the severity, extent and complexity of the disease and the appointment times and the types of procedures required to appropriately treat it. An approximate fee can usually be determined following a thorough evaluation at the initial consultation appointment.
Does private health insurance cover the cost of treatment?
Private health insurance with dental extras often covers a proportion of the cost of periodontal or implant treatment. This varies from policy to policy. It is important to bring your private health insurance card with you to all your appointments as we have HICAPS terminals to directly process your claim at the time of your visit.
Following your consultation appointment, you will be provided with an itemised treatment plan with treatment item numbers for any planned treatment. This can be used to determine your out of pocket expenses after you contact your health insurance provider, should you desire.
Do you treat patients under the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) scheme?
Yes. The costs for a consultation are covered without need for prior approval. Treatment for periodontal disease is also covered without the need for prior approval. However, treatment for dental implants will need prior approval from DVA once a treatment plan has been formulated.