Dentist Wants Me to do Extra Appointments

I’m not sure what to do. I finally get up the courage to go see the dentist and he tells me I need to come in extra because of my gums. This seems like a scam to me. I can understand getting my cavities fixed, but my gums seem fine, they’re just higher than other peoples. Is this necessary or just an appearance issue?


Dear David,

woman covering her mouth

Is it possible your dentist mentioned periodontal disease? This is a fancy word for gum disease. While it seems logical to think your teeth are what matter and not your gums, I can assure you it is not an appearance issue. The health of your gums is a reflection of how both your teeth and the bone structure beneath your gums are doing. That bone structure is especially important because the more your gum disease progresses the more of your bone disappears. People with advanced gum disease end up losing their teeth as a result. The fact that you mentioned your gums are higher than most tells me yours is getting serious. Don’t put these treatments off.

Getting to the Dentist with Anxiety

There are generally two reasons patients avoid the dentist. One is financial. The other is because of dental anxiety. Because you mentioned the courage issue, I’m going on the assumption your issue is the latter. If so, you are not alone. I’d love for you to know of the resources available to you so it doesn’t get in the way of you getting the treatment you need for your gum disease.

There are dentists who offer sedation options to patients in your position. There are several options available, but most dentists offer two levels. The first being nitrous oxide which relaxes you but you can still get on with your day when the procedure is completed. The second is oral conscious sedation. This is much stronger and requires you to have someone drive you to and from your appointments. Most patients end up sleeping through their procedures.

These options have been life-changing for many patients and allowed them to catch up on years of neglected dental work quickly.

If You Lose a Tooth

Hopefully, if you get right on your periodontal treatments, this won’t be an issue. Just in case, I want you to be aware of the top tooth replacement option available to you. A dental implant will be most like having a healthy natural tooth. Be aware, though, you will have to have healthy gums and bone to be a candidate. So focus on getting that under control.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.