Frequently Asked Questions

As a father and son team with over 50 years of combined experience, Doctors David and Michael Marcus remain dedicated to providing superb patient care in a caring, family-oriented environment. If you are looking for a dentist in Chicago Loop, the Marcus Dental Practice team is conveniently located in the downtown area. At Marcus Dental Practice, we share a common mission - to enrich the beauty, function, and health of our patients’ teeth over their lifetime. We accomplish this goal through our commitment to each patient's overall wellness. Exceptional service means looking at the big picture while paying close attention to the smallest details. We take pride in our work and find fulfillment in every smile we have restored!

1. What is Periodontal Disease?

a. Periodontal disease is a disease of the gums.  It starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form calculus or tartar.  As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria, which attacks the soft tissue around the gums.  This early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis.  Symptoms include red swollen gums, bleeding, bad breath and, sometimes, an unpleasant taste in the mouth.  Untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis.  At this severe stage, bacteria destroy both the gums and the supporting bone structures.  Pockets form where teeth are separated from the gums and surrounding bones.  Left untreated, Periodontitis results in tooth loss.
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2. What is the best way to treat Periodontal Disease?
a. Laser Periodontal Therapy (LPT) a patented new non-surgical laser alternative to gum surgery, is a less painful, less traumatic way to treat periodontal disease at any stage.  It is ideal for patients who want conservative gum disease treatment.
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3. What’s different about Laser Periodontal Therapy?
a. Laser Periodontal Therapy uses a special kind of laser called the PerioLase, invented by two dentists in Cerritos, California.  Dr. Robert Gregg and Dr. Delwin McCarthy spent years developing a better way to treat gum disease.  The laser fiber, which is only about as wide as three human hairs, is inserted between the gum tissue and your tooth, where it painlessly removes the noxious elements that cause gum disease.
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4. Do I need a referral from my dentist or physician to see you?
a. Many patients choose us on their own.  They have heard of Dr. Marcus through word of mouth from a friend, family member, or colleague.  Many of our patients find out about us from the internet.  We welcome all new patients.  You don’t have to be referred by a dentist or a physician.
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5. How many treatments will I need?
a. Laser Periodontal Therapy doesn’t take much time at all – just two, two-hour sessions versus several one-hour sessions with surgery.  We schedule your LANAP appointments just one week apart to make sure we treat your entire mouth before bacteria begin to grow again.  You don’t have to worry about bleeding, stitches or post-treatment infection because your gums will not be cut.
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6. I had x-rays a while ago.  Can’t you look at those?
a. That depends on their age and quality.  The conditions of your mouth change rapidly, and in order to accurately diagnose you, we will need current high-quality x-rays.  We will only take the minimum necessary and only after you are examined to see exactly what is necessary.
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7. My doctor said he’d have to pull my teeth because they are so loose.  I don’t want to do that.  Can you help?
a. We have been able to save a lot of teeth that other dentists wanted to extract.  We’ve had great success in saving teeth that were to be extracted.  There is nothing better than your own natural teeth.  We can schedule a consultation for you.
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8. How many appointments will I need?
a. Usually two treatment visits and a couple of post-operative visits.  The doctor will then prescribe visits with a hygienist every 3 months to keep your mouth healthy.
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9. What about recovery – will I be in pain or need to follow a special routine?
a. The sense of recovery is immediate, due to the laser’s ability to seal blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings.  Of course, your tissue needs time to recover, regenerate, and heal.  After Laser Periodontal Therapy you can drive your car, go back to work, and continue your normal lifestyle.
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10. How will I feel after the laser surgery?
a. You may experience some achiness, throbbing, or soreness.  The doctor may prescribe antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory to take care of any discomfort you may experience.
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11. How do I know this will work?  I had surgery 4 years ago, and I now need it again.
a. The doctor can answer all of your treatment questions at the consult appointment.  Laser Periodontal Therapy gives better, longer-lasting results than conventional surgery.  In fact, some doctors report 98% of LPT-treated patients remain stable after five years, while only 5% remain stable after traditional surgery.  We will examine your mouth thoroughly to determine if the laser is right for you.  You can meet the doctor and staff and have a demonstration of the laser performed for you.  Dr. Marcus will discuss all your treatment options as well as the pros and cons of each option so that you can make the decision that you feel is right for you. 
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12. Why do I need to do periodontal maintenance after the LANAP procedure?  Why can’t I just have my teeth cleaned?
a. Your dental circumstances have changed your oral health.  You’ve completed the periodontal laser surgery and now need more extensive bone and gum treatments.  A regular prophylaxis (cleaning) is by definition done on a healthy mouth.  
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13. I can see how good Laser Periodontal Therapy is.  But is it very expensive and will my insurance cover it?
a. The good news is Laser Periodontal Therapy is actually less expensive than periodontal surgery.  We will give you an accurate treatment estimate once we examine you. There is no special code for our therapy, so if your insurance benefits reimburse you for conventional surgery, they should reimburse for Laser Periodontal Therapy.
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14. Do you offer financing or payment plans?
a. Yes, we do offer a few different payment arrangements including outside financing through Care Credit and Citi Health Card for treatment.  Many patients are surprised that they can have a very low monthly payment.  The application process is very simple and it is confidential.
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15. What will my out-of-pocket costs be?
a. We can help you understand your financial responsibility for LANAP when you come in for your initial examination and consultation.

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