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Dr. Thomas R. Baker, DDS

First Visit
Welcome to the office of Dr. Thomas R. Baker!

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our periodontal practice. It is our goal to provide the best periodontal care possible and to do so in a comfortable and caring manner. We will make every effort to ensure that your experience is a pleasant one.

Our office is committed to the prevention of periodontal problems and the preservation of your dentition. With effective preventative techniques, modern periodontal procedures, and your cooperation, this goal can be achieved.

If at any time you have questions regarding treatment, fees, or service, please feel free to discuss them with us. We will make every effort to keep you informed.

Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:


Your referral slip and a FULL-MOUTH SET OF PERIAPICAL RADIOGRAPHS from your referring dentist.


It is important that every patient have a full mouth set of x-rays so Dr. Baker can to do a complete examination. We can also take your x-rays at an additional fee if you do not have them. If you have a general dentist, we will request your x-rays from them first, if we take a set here, we will send your dentist a copy of your x-rays and a letter explaining your periodontal health and the treatment planned in our office. We use Dexis digital x-rays. These state-of-the-art x-rays provide:
Reduced exposure to radiation
Less waiting time which means shorter appointments
Allows you to be involved in co-diagnosis and helps you gain a better understanding of treatment

Please bring your completed Patient Registration/Medical History Form , along with a list of medications you are currently taking. These forms can be downloaded under "Patient Registration Forms."

If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.
If you are not the policy holder, we will need the social security or I.D. number of the policy holder, as well as their date of birth. If Dr. Baker recommends treatment, we will submit a pre-authorization to your insurance company to determine an estimate of coverage. We will do everything in our power do ensure maximum coverage.

Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to your exam (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring pre-medication, severe diabetes, or hypertension.)

We will review your medical and dental health history and perform a thorough examination to measure for bone loss, gum recession, loose teeth, abnormal bite, and other signs of periodontal disease.

Fees:
Since all patients are different, Dr. Baker must complete your examination before establishing your treatment plan and the fee for care. The fee for periodontal treatment can vary considerably depending on the type of problems and the complexity and length of treatment. An approximate fee can usually be determined at the initial visit; but on occasion, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established.


Treatment Planning:
Not every patient with periodontal disease needs periodontal surgery. If treated early, gum disease can be controlled without surgery. We will make recommendations based on your individual situation. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain mutually established treatment goals.
The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat most teeth. We are always continuing our education so we can offer you the latest treatments available. There are many new advances made everyday to treat periodontal problems. In the case of hopeless teeth, extraction may be the best treatment; only with your full consent and understanding will any treatment be undertaken.

Working with your General Dentist:
Our office and your Dentist will work closely together. If crowns and fillings are needed your Dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your Dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance. You will return to your Dentist after periodontal treatment is complete for regular check up and alternating cleanings. Typically you will have cleanings every 3 months after periodontal treatment is completed. You will go see your general dentist for a cleaning, then 3 month later see us for a cleaning, then repeat this pattern.

Delaying Treatment:
Unfortunately, periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection with some potentially dire consequences even outside of your mouth. Untreated periodontal disease is linked to many other health problems, including heart disease, strokes, respiratory disease, pre-term labor and low birth weight babies. Periodontal disease also accelerates all the problems associated with diabetes, in addition to making control of diabetes much more difficult. Delaying treatment will cause you further bone loss, resulting in tooth lose and other health issues. Postponing treatment makes treating periodontal disease more difficult to treat and becomes more expensive.