Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Are you accepting new patients and when can I schedule?
A: We are accepting new patients and would be happy to see you. Often our patients are referred to us by their general dentist because he or she has a concern about your gums, needs us to perform a specialized procedure, or feels you may be a good candidate for surgical tooth extraction or dental implants. We do not require a referral and would be happy to see you to discuss concerns you may have about esthetic treatment or your gingival health.

We are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Dr. Gorday usually performs surgeries in the mornings and sees patients for follow up visits and initial evaluations in the afternoons. This policy helps us to run on schedule and not keep you waiting.

Please note that some managed dental plans may require you to have a direct referral from your general dentist.  We can help you to determine if this is necessary so please have your insurance information handy when you call.

 

Q: Do you take my insurance?
A: Dr. Gorday is in-network with many PPO plans such as Delta Dental, BC/BS of Texas, most Humana Dental and Aetna PPO plans, United Concordia, some United Healthcare and MetLife plans as well as several discount plans. Please call the office to verify participation with your particular plan. We are always happy to assist you with insurance inquiries.

 

Q: What can I expect on my initial visit?
A: On your first visit to our office you will have initial paperwork to fill out. Please come prepared with a photo ID and dental insurance information as well as a list of current medications and physician's phone numbers.

Once we have processed your paperwork and verified your insurance we will spend some time getting to know you and discussing the reason for your visit. Dr. Gorday will then perform a complete periodontal evaluation, measuring the levels of bone and tissue surrounding your teeth, noting any missing, broken, or loose teeth, and evaluating your gums for unusual lesions or discolorations.  If necessary, we may need to take a series of x-rays.  We do try to use any existing x-rays that may be available from your referring dentist but sometimes we may need a more comprehensive set than they provide us with. 

Dr. Gorday will review his findings and discuss treatment options with you, then we will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and go over fees and insurance coverage with you as well as answer any questions you may have about scheduling.

 

Q: Why do I need to have my teeth cleaned so often and what is periodontal maintenance?
A: Periodontal disease is a form of bacterial infection that destroys the bone and tissue that supports your teeth.  Although you may have had osseous surgery or scaling and root planing to treat your periodontitis, proper maintenance is vital to keeping this chronic condition under control.  Plaque biofilm builds up on the roots of your teeth where you are unable to reach with regular brushing and flossing.  Studies show that after scaling and root planing it only takes three months for the bacteria to accumulate to the point where they cause damage to the bone and tissue. 

Most people are able to stay healthy when they schedule maintenance visits at 3 month intervals.  At each periodontal maintenance visit, we’ll clean and disinfect above and below the gums and measure the bone level.  We might detect one or more areas of the mouth that have begun to relapse, in which case we can treat the area before it becomes a bigger problem.  On the other hand, if there has been no change, then that means the schedule is working for you.  Remember, everyone is different and some people are more at risk than others.  Heredity, diabetes, stress, heart disease, smoking, hormonal changes, and medications can all contribute to the severity of periodontal disease.   

 

Q: Why won't my insurance pay for my procedure?
A: Dental insurance is designed to share the cost of your dental care, not to pay for it in full.  Often dental benefits are paid based not on your treatment needs but by the amount contributed by your employer.  Most plans have a set annual maximum benefit as well as a deductible that must be met on certain procedures. 

Certain procedures may not be covered as often as necessary for optimal health.  For example, many dental plans cover only one or two dental cleanings per year.  We may recommend periodontal maintenance every three to four months, leaving you to pay for one or two visits per year out of pocket.  This is not because the additional cleanings are not necessary, but because the insurance contract has been negotiated to accommodate the schedule for a healthy patient with no underlying conditions.  

Some plans also exclude or limit coverage for specific procedures.  Sometimes, just like medical insurance, dental plans may not cover treatments for pre-existing conditions or for replacement of teeth that were extracted prior to the effective date of coverage. 

Most plans have a set fee that is the maximum they will pay for each procedure.  These fees are referred to as "usual, customary and reasonable" fees.  There are no regulations as to how insurance companies determine these fees and they are not required to disclose how they determine "reasonable" charges.  Your insurance company's "usual, customary, and reasonable" fees may not accurately reflect the fees that area specialists charge and disparity between our fees and those recommended by your insurance company does not mean that you have been overcharged. 

We strive to help you make the most of the beneifits available to you and you are always welcome to call our office with any insurance or billing questions.

 

Q: Am I a candidate for dental implants and how do they work?
A: Dental implants are titanium posts that are screwed into your jaw bone to function as a replacement for the roots of an extracted or unformed tooth.  After an extraction site has healed for several months a CT scan is taken to evaluate the existing bone levels, proximity to nerves and sinuses, and angulation of the planned implant in relation to existing teeth.  Occasionally it may be necessary to place additional bone grafts and/or membranes to provide sufficient support for implant placement.  

The implant is then surgically placed into your jaw bone and allowed to heal for several months as your bone grows around the threads and the implant is integrated and becomes solid enough to support restoration.  During this time you may have a temporary "flipper" that is fabricated by your General Dentist after tooth extraction and fits between the adjacent teeth to fill the gap caused by the missing tooth.  During the last several weeks of your healing time special healing caps may need to be changed.  These caps sit at or slightly below the tissue level and function to gently stretch and contour the tissue around the implant so that the crown can be accommodated. 

When your implant is fully healed, the healing cap is removed and an abutment is placed.  The abutment functions as the post on which the crown is placed and is firmly screwed into the top of the implant.  Sometimes a custom abutment will need to be fabricated and placed by your General Dentist  but often we will place the abutment and your general dentist takes impressions to fabricate the final crown.  Usually, the final implant crown can be placed by your General Dentist within just a couple of weeks of abutment placement and you will return to our office for a final check several weeks later. 

 

 

1100 NW Loop 410, Ste 505
San Antonio, TX 78213
(210) 341-6023

 

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