What's with all the poking and numbers during my dental cleaning

What’s with all the poking and numbers during my dental cleaning?

Ever wonder why your dental hygienist is calling out all those numbers at the beginning of your cleaning. Well hopefully she explained what she was doing before she started! What we are doing is using a dental probe to check the depth of gum tissue around your teeth. It’s a proactive way to identify gum disease. The dental probe acts as ruler to measure the depth around your tooth. If you hear numbers like 1, 2, 3 then your gums are healthy and you only need a preventative cleaning. Numbers greater than 4 may indicate the start of periodontal disease and you may need a deep cleaning or to see the periodontist.

 
 Periodontal Charting

Periodontal Charting

 

What’s a periodontist and why do I need one?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialized in caring for you gums and bone. We may refer you to the periodontist because you have periodontal disease which is also known as gum disease. In some cases, periodontal disease will be treated at our office through deep cleanings and antibiotic treatment. If the periodontal disease has progressed too far or will not resolve then we will refer you to the periodontist. The periodontist can offer more specialized care and attention to your gums and bone. Most patients with periodontal disease will need to be seen more than twice per year for cleanings, usually every 3-4 months.