You do hear a lot of gibberish in the dental surgery which can be confusing so here at Courtney Dental we try to educate our patients so they understand what is happening. When doing a dental exam one of the ways we assess your oral health is by doing a periodontal health check. We use a metal probe that has a ruler on the end and probe around the tooth to check the space between the tooth and gum. This tells us if there is any bone loss present which is a sign of gum disease.
This probing shouldn't be painful, however if you are suffering from inflammation and infection it can feel uncomfortable. As we go around each tooth we measure 6 points per tooth and we divide your mouth into 6 zones. So for each zone there will be a score based on what we find. We call the space between the tooth and gum a pocket.
0 - excellent oral health, no bleeding or calculus present, no pocketing
1 - minimal bleeding on probing, no calculus present
2 - calculus present but no pocketing deeper than 3.5mm
3 - calculus present and pocketing between 3.5mm and 5.5mm
4 - pocketing greater than 5.5mm
This screen is done at every routine hygiene appointment to continually check and update your dental chart. We can then note if there are any changes or progression. This data is what decided whether you can continue to see the hygienist or if you need to see a specialist periodontist to treat your gum disease.
As always if you have any questions ask your hygienist or dentist at your next appointment or call us on 4725 3366