Referring Doctors

Referring Patients To Morris Periodontics

Thank you for taking the time to view our web site and thank you for the patients you have referred to my office. I hope you have found the information helpful. Feel free to print and use this information in your practice.

Printable Referral Slip

Why Refer?

In today’s dental practice, the general dentist is expected to know and perform a great deal more procedures than in the years past. The amount of information in each specialty increases constantly.  A referral to our office demonstrates your concern for your patients and your understanding of the complexities and importance of the patients periodontal health. No longer is chronic gingivitis and periodontitis thought of as a disease solely of the oral cavity. These are infectious diseases.

Today, we know the inflammatory process of gum disease adversely affects the health of the whole body. We cannot ‘watch’ our patients through these diseases. Deep pockets, bleeding gums and visible attachment loss must be dealt with definitively.  Too long have we cleaned our patients teeth and said ‘see you in 3 or 6 months,’ not knowing if inflammation began again 2 weeks after the patient left our office.

When to Refer?

We will accept patients for periodontal care at any stage of their dental therapy. Although we prefer to do the scaling and root planing, we will gladly accept patients after you have completed this stage of treatment. Occasionally, we perform ‘root detox’, our conservative treatment, after you have Scaled and Root planed because the patient is not a candidate for surgery. In these situations it is explained to the patient that the extent of their disease requires additional conservative therapy. This is logical and not an insult to the general practice.  Our office, frequently re-scales teeth previously treated by us.

Specifically, referrals are made when:

  • Pockets have increased since last cleaning
  • Pockets are bleeding 4 weeks after cleanings
  • Chronic malodor exists
  • Gums are receding (even with shallow probing)
  • X-rays reveal bone defects or density changes  
  • Teeth are sensitive at the gum line
  • Redness exists after cleanings (teenagers and women especially)
  • Root surface exposure on isolated teeth
  • Clefting is beginning on the gingiva
  • Restorations are to be sub-gingival
    (crown lengthening to prevent inflammation)
  • Frenum pull on gingiva 


  •   No attached tissue is present around isolated teeth
  • Extractions are needed in the esthetic zone
  • Extractions are needed and implants are planned
  • Anterior crowns are to be placed (gingival balancing)
  • Veneers are to be placed (gingival balancing)
  • Implants are being planned for missing teeth
  • Patients are interested in cosmetic dentistry
  • Chronic gingivitis


Dentist & Periodontist Relationship

As a periodontist, I have the greatest respect for my referring dentists. Should you ever have questions do not hesitate to call. I am here to educate your patient as well as inform you of the latest protocols. Our relationship is the most difficult of the dental specialties. We share our patients’ care, often long term.

The lecture circuit has said this difficulty is because of economic concerns by the referring dentist and lack of understanding as to what a periodontist does. It is true our care may post-pone restorative work temporarily, but we do share maintenance and pride ourselves in getting the patient back to you as soon as possible for restorative care.

Also, there are practices that have a high percent of their patients with what is considered active periodontal disease. Concerns arise over how to begin referring patients that dentists have been seeing for years in their practice? Relax! Periodontics has changed. The systemic disease relationships are relatively new. 

Tell your patient that new research tells us not to ‘watch’ gum changes and that you want Dr. Morris to take a look! More than likely I will suggest the Anti-infective phase of treatment. I will probably tell them I recommend an alternating 3 month cleaning.  It’s simple and the right thing to do. Overall, our relationship has our patients best interest in mind, feel free to contact me with any questions.