Paul L. Caputo D.D.S.

Alternatives to Gum Surgery

Less Painful and Less Costly Care for Gum Disease
Advances in dental care have rendered gum surgery unnecessary in most instances, when compared to 10 and 20 years ago. Non-invasive treatment (without surgery) for moderate and many forms of advanced gum disease is now the normal course of treatment, rather than the exception among dentists such as Dr. Caputo.

In part made possible by antibiotics created specifically for treating gum disease, when combined with traditional forms of care render surgery unnecessary in most instances.  This approach has been standard protocol in Dr. Caputo’s Palm Harbor practice for over 20 years. As with other forms of medicine, the adoption of newer, less invasive and less costly forms of care can vary greatly among physicians and practioners.

Gum Surgery Cost Compared to Alternative Care

Dr. Caputo, one of a limited number of comprehensive dentists in practice today, understands patients are also educated consumers. Dr. Caputo’s commitment to his patients includes offering the least costly form of care appropriate to the diagnosis.

Generally, advanced periodontal therapy with antibiotics is 75% less expensive than gum surgery, for treatment of the same condition.

Whether periodontal therapy or gum surgery, the cost of treatment is determined by the amount of disease present in the mouth.

Cost of Gum Surgery

The cost per quadrant for gum surgery generally ranges from $1,250 to $1,500, or $5,000 to $6,000 for treatment of the entire mouth.

Follow up care for both forms of treatment are the same, generally a maintenance cleaning three to four times per year. Dr. Caputo’s fee for a maintenance cleaning is $95 per visit and includes an examination for a recurrence of disease.

Treatment and Recovery

Generally, non-invasive therapy as an alternative to surgery can be completed with two office visits, once a diagnosis is complete and a course of treatment determined.

Local anesthesia is used and treatment can be performed using sedation dentistry. As in all cases, Dr. Caputo’s emphasis on patient comfort and pain prevention are at the forefront of treatment planning.

Unlike gum surgery, it is normal for patients to have full function within one day of treatment.

Follow Up Care

Once treatment is complete follow up care consists of a re-examination and a maintenance cleaning three months following treatment.

Gum Disease

The symptoms of gum disease, most caused by chronic bacterial infection below the gum line, include swollen and red gums, bleeding, loose teeth, bone loss, bad breath as well as more serious diseases affecting one’s overall health.

Treatment, whether by surgery or less invasive therapy, requires the chronic infection below the gum line be arrested and removed.

The fundamental difference in treatment by non-surgical means is, rather than removing a portion of the gum and lowering the gum line, which exposes root surfaces of the tooth, the gum line is maintained in its existing state, and the disease is the focus of the treatment.

A Primary Benefit of Non-Surgical Therapy is Retaining Your Original Appearance

Non-surgical therapy for gum disease has many benefits. Foremost to many patients is the significant reduction in cost, normally far less than half the cost of surgery. Pain, suffering, anesthesia use and recovery time are all greatly reduced, when compared to gum surgery.

Another and often overlooked benefit of non-surgical therapy, which is simply not possible when surgery is performed, is retaining one’s gum line and appearance. It is a simple fact gum surgery entails cutting away and removing portions of the gum, permanently lowering and altering the gum line, exposing lower portions of the tooth.

In contrast, non-surgical therapy, as advocated and practiced by Dr. Caputo, retains the gum and existing gum line by treating the infection and allowing the gum to grow back and fill the void left by the disease.

The result is health and your original appearance is maintained.

Dr. Paul Caputo’s Preferred Course of Treatment for Gum Disease

Trained in oral surgery at Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, where he later served as an Associate Professor of Operative Dentistry, Dr. Caputo is proactive in advocating and practicing non-invasive, non-surgical procedures whenever appropriate.

Dr. Caputo, whose areas of special interest and advanced training include implant and restorative dentistry, which frequently require a surgical component, has over twenty years in private practice found gum surgery to be an area where alternatives to surgery are most often a viable alternative.

Among the benefits of Dr. Caputo’s course of care, compared to traditional surgeries, are less pain for the patient, reduced recovery time and much lower costs.

Dr. Caputo’s emphasis on patient comfort and pain prevention are well known to his current patients. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease and advised to have surgery, or would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Caputo, please contact us at 727-789-1333

Non-surgical treatment of this condition represents a different philosophy and approach to patient care compared to gum surgery. Recognized by the ADA, JAMA and other leading medical institutions, nonsurgical treatment is one of many instances where new science and technology in medicine are increasingly focused on the patient’s comfort and lowering costs.

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