A Letter to Patients

Dear patients,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you about our procedures to screen and treat periodontal disease here at Van Haren Dentistry in Grand Rapids. Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums that is the leading cause of tooth loss. Periodontal disease can be associated with broader health problems from bad breath to osteoporosis to heart disease. Please see your favorite medical website such as Mayo Clinic to learn more about periodontal disease and its treatment.

As some of you may already know, Van Haren Dentistry screens all patients for periodontal disease by taking painless measurements of your gums around each of your teeth during your regular dental exams. There is no charge for the periodontal screening. If we do not find signs of periodontal disease, your appointment will continue with a cleaning, appropriate x-rays, and an oral health exam.

If, however, we find signs of periodontal disease, the usual cleaning is no longer the appropriate hygiene treatment since a regular teeth cleaning does not address the bacteria in your gums. Accordingly, please be prepared that your appointment will not proceed with a regular cleaning. Rather, we will discuss your specific treatment recommendations and address any questions you have. Depending on the particular health of your gums and your readiness, we may or may not proceed with periodontal treatment the same day.

Modern periodontal treatment can dramatically improve your immediate and long-term oral health. We look forward to providing your household and all of our patients with the best chances for a lifetime of healthy smiles.


Ryan Van Haren, DDS and staff
Van Haren Dentistry
Your Grand Rapids, Michigan dentist