First Visit FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about your First Visit


What Will Happen On My First Visit?

At the time of your first visit, Dr. Cullen will complete a thorough evaluation and review any radiographs and information received from your referring dentist.
Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:

  • Any information given to you by your referring dentist, including recent x-rays.
  • A list of medications you are currently taking.
  • If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.

Please Note: All patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment.

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

We will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history and a thorough examination to measure for bone loss, loose teeth, bite, oral cancer screening, TMJ, and other signs of periodontal disease.

Will It Hurt?

It is normal to feel apprehensive about your visit. We assure you we will be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort.

Do I Need X-Rays?

We will need current periodontal x-rays in order to see disease and bone level not otherwise visible. If your referring dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they be forwarded to us.

What Will It Cost?

Since all patients are different, Dr. Cullen 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 consultation; but on occasion, some initial treatment or further diagnostics must be completed before the final treatment plan can be established. Our philosophy of practice is to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?

Dental insurance policies often cover periodontal treatment. Please bring all dental benefit information and cards to your examination appointment. Upon request, we will submit a claim to predetermine your insurance benefits; however, this is not required by all plans.

Will I Need Surgery?

Not everyone needs periodontal surgery. If treated early, gum disease can be controlled without surgery. We will make recommendations based on your individual situation. All efforts will be made to treat as conservatively as possible to attain treatment goals.

Can My Teeth Be Saved?

The recent advances in periodontal treatment allow us to successfully treat and preserve most teeth.

When Will I Go Back To My General Dentist?

Our office and your dentist will work closely together. A constant line of communication through phone conversations and letters keep both doctors up to date on your case. If crowns and fillings are needed your dentist will provide them. Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of periodontal maintenance.

What If I Don’t Have Gum Treatment?

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss and more expense. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own teeth.