Originally Posted by ami68
what is this? what are the symptoms of having pockets, like you are saying? I have a big problem on one of my molars and it goes really low and feels kind of weird when I press on it, and it seems like the root is visible, is this similar to what you have? I have 0 dental insurance. I wonder if you could wait until next year to di , so you could have at least some of it covered?
Pockets are spaces between your teeth and gums that allow plaque and bacteria to get at the roots and the bone that your teeth are set into.
Most people have pockets depths of 1-3mm but mine are anywhere from 2-10mm with most in the 5-7 range. These pockets are too deep and can't be kept clean effectively through normal brushing, flossing and dental gleanings. Scaling and root planing can clean a 5-6mm pocket but that's a more involved procedure and still can't clean a 7-10mm pocket very well if at all.
In order to reduce the pocket depth and clean the roots of the teeth and affected surfaces of the jawbone, a periodontist sedates you and then peels the gums away from the teeth to expose the surfaces which need cleaning. The perio then cleans the roots and cleans and smooths the sufaces of your jawbone, followed by suturing the gums back into place with dissolving sutures.
The procedure is much more efficient and recovery is much quicker and more comfortable than it was 15-20 years ago. Back in those days, rather than folding the gums down and suturing them back into place, the gums were cut away and thrown in the trash, making for a much more painful and lengthy recovery period. Done the way it is today, the gums bond quickly back in place against the smooth and newly cleaned surfaces they contact, so 3-4 days of careful eating is all that's required and then life can gradually and quickly return to normal. No further surgery should be required as long as one is diligent about brushing, flossing and frequent professional cleaning.
Pockets are caused by lax tooth care and lack of dental care, which is partly my fault and partly my parents. I was taken to the dentist once at age 7 and never was taken or went again until 14 months ago at age 39. In that time a lot of calculus built up both above and below my gumline. Above the gumline my teeth are clean now, and also below as much as scaling and planing can do, but I still need the surgery to fully clean the roots and bone, to stop the bone loss that is happening.
Upon further review with my insurance company, they treat this procedure as a medical event and not dental, so it is a covered procedure at 60 percent after my deductible. This was welcome news and will result in my out-of-pocket cost being less than half the total bill.
I would still appreciate any input from people in the know as to whether $5,729 is in the ballpark for this procedure or if it may be wise for me to shop around a bit.