What is a Periodontal Examination?
A periodontal examination is a diagnostic procedure in which your dentist thoroughly examines the structures of the oral cavity to assess the health of your gums.
How do you prepare for a Periodontal Examination?
You should provide your dentist with all relevant health information, including any x-rays or previous dental records. Inform them of any medications you are currently taking and bring any particular areas of concern to their attention.
Why is a Periodontal Examination performed?
The CDC estimates that nearly half of Americans above the age of 30 have some form of periodontitis, a disease affecting the gums. This can not only affect the health of your teeth, but has also been associated with other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Annual periodontal examinations are recommended for assessing the overall health of your gums and identifying any potential problem areas early on.
What can you expect during a Periodontal Examination?
Your dentist will use a metal instrument called a probe to measure your “periodontal pockets,” the spaces between your teeth and gums. They will assess plaque build-up as well as the health of your gums, and measure any gum recession that has taken place. X-rays will also generally be performed as part of the examination.
What is the followup for a Periodontal Examination?
Your dentist will discuss the results of your examination with you and make recommendations for ongoing care. If any serious periodontal issues are identified during the course of the examination, you may require additional dental procedures. Under ordinary circumstances, periodontal examinations should be performed once per year.
Are there related procedures to a Periodontal Examination?
Dental examination and x-rays are also diagnostic procedures which are performed to identify potential oral health problems.