Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What is a periodontist?

A: A periodontist is a dentist that goes to a residency program for three additional years of training in order to treat the gum and bone structures around teeth.


Q: Why do I need to see a periodontist?

A: The most common reason to see a periodontist is for gum disease otherwise known as periodontitis. This is inflammation caused by bacteria that has lead to destruction and loss of the bone around your teeth. The bone and gums are the foundation to supporting your teeth and without them you can eventually have recession, loose teeth, or even end up losing your teeth. This condition is “silent” and only rarely results in any symptoms or pain. That means even though it doesn’t hurt you could be losing bone. Bleeding when flossing is a red flag for you to seek help. By the time something hurts it may be too late to save the teeth so don’t wait call for a consult. A person may also need to see a periodontist for implants. Periodontist are specifically trained to handle the delicate tissue and bone to place an implant. If you have recession then a periodontist may be able to graft and gain more gum tissue in these areas for you. Any procedure that involves the gum and bone could benefit from having a periodontist on the team. See our list of services for more procedure and details.

Q: How often should I brush and floss?

A: We recommend brushing twice daily and flossing at least once.


Q: I just had the laser procedure, when can I start using floss?

A: You should wait no more than one month after your laser procedure to start flossing. Even though it was important to avoid flossing the first month to allow the clot to heal it is now important to keep that bacteria away so if it’s been 4 weeks/one month then start flossing. Also you can see the laser post-op in the oral hygiene section.


Q: How long after the laser procedure before I can use my water pik?

A: Wait at least a couple months. Check with Dr. Lai to see when your gums are ready for using your water pik. Check out laser post-op in the oral hygiene section.