Frequent Questions

We’re sure you have a number questions about our procedures, what to expect before and after surgery and your payment options.  Please read below to find those answers.

How is periodontal disease diagnosed?

If you’ve ever heard your dentist or dental hygienist calling out numbers and noting them in your dental chart at your regular checkup, then you’ve experienced “pocket probing” or “charting.” As part of a routine checkup, the dentist completes a periodontal examination to measure the depth of the spaces (“pockets”) between your teeth and gums, and checks for bleeding. Detection of bleeding and pockets of four or more millimeters in depth are one way for your dentist to identify gingivitis and periodontitis.

Why must I start treatment right away?

Periodontal infection grows in “bursts of activity”.

It is likely that you have been referred to us because your general dentist has noticed an increase in infection activity.

This infection eats away at the bone that supports your teeth (leading to tooth loss). If not treated, there can be a number of consequences.

Where are you located?

We are located at the intersection of 91st and Meridian Street (US 31) in the Lakeview Office complex, on the South West corner of 91st and Meridian behind the Marathon/Dairy Queen Station

8902 North Meridian St. Ste 138
Indianapolis, IN 46260

Map & Directions

Do you accept referrals

Absolutely! In fact, our practice is predominantly based on referrals from dental practices that we have formed relationships with over the years!  Your dentist is referring you to us because they are familiar with our hard work, outstanding patient care and excellent treatment results.

Do I need x-rays?

We will need current x-rays in order to diagnose any treatment. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us: info@vanwinkleperio.com

Before Surgery

What do I need to do to prepare for my treatment?

Please read our Before Surgery document to be prepared for you treatment.

Do I need a driver to my appointment?

You will be able to drive to and from your appointment unless you have elected to have sedation. Please refer to the sedation page for further instructions.  We will be using a local anesthetic “numbing” that will not impair your ability to drive.  If you have chosen to have nitrous oxide “laughing gas” for your procedure the effects wear off within 3-5 minutes once the mask is removed, therefore you can safely drive home.

After Surgery

What should I expect following my treatment?

We have documentation for each procedure that will help you after your procedure.

Why do I need to come back in 3-4 months for a cleaning?

You have a chronic bacterial infection called periodontal disease. By measuring the pockets surrounding your teeth, evaluating the gum tissue, and reviewing your x-rays, your dentist and hygienist have discovered the infection in your gums.

As your dentist and hygienist mentioned 1-3 mm pockets without bleeding and recession are typically considered healthy. 4 mm pockets with bleeding may indicate gingivitis or possibly early periodontitis. 5 mm pockets with multiple bleeding sites strongly indicate the presence of a bacterial infection called periodontal disease. The infected areas are not accessible by brushing and flossing and require your dentist and hygienist to manually remove the bacterial toxins with special instruments. The infection must be removed every 90-120 days to prevent further bone loss. Without adequate bone support, tooth loss occurs.

As you know, our goal is to provide excellent dental care to all our patients. In good conscience, we cannot ignore a bacterial infection simply because of insurance limitations. With periodontal disease, the risk is too great. If left untreated, periodontal disease not only leads to tooth loss, it may also place you at increased risk for heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, and if pregnant, a preterm or low birth weight baby.

If your dental benefits seem unreasonably low, we encourage you to contact your employer and express your concerns about the limitations of your dental plan so that future dental contracts are reviewed more closely. We are happy to provide you with any information you need to assist you in this effort.

When will I go back to my general dentist?

Our office and your general office work very close together. If crowns, fillings, etc. are needed, your general dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance. An alternating cleaning schedule between our office and your general dentist may be recommended.

Payment Options & Insurance

What payment options do you offer?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Cash or Check.

We also work with CareCredit that will allow you to make monthly payments.

Learn more about our Payment Options.

What insurance carriers are you in network with?

We are currently in network with Aetna and Delta Dental. You can learn more in our Patient Center.

Does my major medical insurance pay for any of my treatment?

No, Major Medical/Health insurance does NOT pay for any dental procedures in our practice. All procedures have an ADA (American Dental Association) filing code and are not “medically necessary” therefore do not fall under Medical insurance.  The only circumstance Medical insurance may pay our office is if a result of trauma has occurred (with proper supporting documentation).