Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who has been trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems by managing a patient’s overall oral healthcare. Dr. Anderson, a Wichita periodontist, has completed many years of dental school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. You may notice that some dentists have “DDS” (Doctor of Dental Surgery) behind their name and others have “DMD” (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry). They both mean the same thing, the university they graduate from determines what degree is awarded. Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist. Dr. Anderson completed her post-graduate training at the UMKC School of Periodontics Residency program in Kansas City, MO, meaning she specializes in gum disease, bone loss, and implants.
There are other specializations that a dentist may choose:
- Oral and Maxillofacial (includes pathology, radiology, and oral surgery)
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (braces)
- Endodontics (specialization in root canals)
- Pedodontist (specialization for treating children)
- Prosthodontics (specialization in restorative dentistry)
What Is Dentistry?
Dentistry is the treatment and prevention of disorders and diseases of a patient’s teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Dentistry performed properly is necessary for complete oral health, and it has a significant impact on the health of a patient’s entire body.
Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?
Here at LK Anderson DDS, we know how busy life can be. Fitting a dental appointment into your busy schedule seems to be one of the most difficult things you have to do. Proper oral hygiene can be a challenge. Brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing after every meal will keep many oral hygiene problems away but not all. Cleaning schedules and homecare routines at our office are tailored for each patient depending on their needs. We work to be as accommodating as possible when scheduling appointments.
A Routine Cleaning At Our Office
A routine cleaning is supportive periodontal maintenance and it is usually referred to as a “maintenance” appointment. A typical maintenance appointment with a periodontist is scheduled according to the patient’s needs, usually on a 3 months schedule, and generally alternated with the general dentist. Some patients are seen on a 4-month schedule or a 2-month schedule, but 3 months is the most common.
The maintenance appointment includes a review of the patient’s medical history, a complete oral cancer exam, a thorough cleaning by one of our registered dental hygienists, and a complete exam by Dr. Anderson, your periodontist (she sees every patient at every appointment and this is included in the maintenance fee).
Digital x-rays are taken when it’s time for them or if there is a problem, these are to help us evaluate the boney support of the teeth and they also are used to detect decay. There are many advantages to digital x-rays such as, less radiation and we’re able to email them to the general dentist. This helps to eliminate taking more x-rays than necessary so it cuts down on cost and radiation for patients.
Dr. Anderson will coordinate a treatment plan with your general dentist. Please call our office at 316-681-3178 to schedule an appointment or if you have questions
Do I Need to See My Wichita Dentist Even If My Teeth Feel Fine?
It’s very important to schedule regular cleanings. Not all dental problems have obvious symptoms at first. Not only can we identify problems before they become painful and expensive, but we can also help to keep your smile looking fantastic. Usually, the general dentist or their hygienist will refer a patient to the periodontist. However, you do not need to have a referral to come see us. Many patients become aware of problems on their own and call in for an appointment as a new patient. It is very important to be comfortable with your smile and that is why we offer many treatments to help improve patient esthetics.
When Should I Change My Toothbrush?
Dr. Anderson recommends changing your toothbrush on a 3-month schedule. This periodontist’s recommendation is the same for a manual toothbrush or an electric brush. However, some electric brush companies recommend that the brush head for their toothbrush be changed on a 2-month schedule. Also, after brushing, it’s very important to wash and rinse your brush out with hot water, then store it upright somewhere it can dry between uses. This will kill germs and bacteria and keep your toothbrush clean.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
Plaque is a sticky film formed by bacteria and saliva that occurs naturally in our mouths. Plaque collects on our teeth and it needs to be removed on a daily basis. This is done with proper home care and we spend a great deal of time reviewing this with our patients. A buildup of plaque can cause gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Risk factors for gum disease include smoking and chewing tobacco, teeth grinding, certain medications, and genetics. Advanced forms of periodontal disease can cause bone loss and tooth loss.
Dr. Anderson recommends a specific daily homecare routine that we tailor for each patient. If you suspect that you have gum disease or if you have been told that you should be evaluated for gum disease, please call our Wichita periodontist office. Some of the most common signs of periodontal disease are:
- Abscessed teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth and or loss of teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Receding gum line
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us as soon as possible. You can reach us at (316) 681-3178 or email us to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is our highest concern.
Do You Accept Dental Insurance?
Here at LK Anderson DDS & Periodontics in Wichita, we accept most insurance and PPO plans but check with us. Please call our office at (316) 681-3178 for more information about insurance. Prior to calling, have your insurance information ready. Also, please plan to pay your co-pay or deductible portion at the time of service.
What Payment Methods Do You Accept?
For your convenience here at LK Anderson DDS & Periodontics in Wichita, we accept cash, checks, cashier’s checks, Visa, Master Card, Amex, and Discover. If none of these payment methods suit your needs, we also provide payment plans through our office or third-party financing through Care Credit. If you have any more questions regarding payment methods, please give us a call at (316) 681-3178 and we’ll do our best to find the right solution for you.