If you have ever found yourself in a dental chair, with your mouth open, while the hygienist uses an instrument to measure your gums, tooth by tooth, you are one lucky patient. You are lucky (or maybe just smart) because you have chosen an office that cares about your periodontal health.
The process described above is called periodontal charting. It is usually done by the hygienist while a staff member records the information in your chart. The hygienist will state numbers while going around each side of each tooth.
These numbers are creating a “picture” of the health of your gums. Lower numbers are good, the higher numbers indicate potential problems (4 & 5) or existing problems (above 5).
Your dentist is not making periodontal charting a part of his practice to boost sales. Dentists allow precious time for this procedure because good periodontal health is the basis for keeping your teeth for a lifetime.
Periodontal charting should be done every six months to two years, depending on the age, general health, and predisposition towards periodontal (gum) disease of the patient. Based on the results of the charting, the dentist will come up with a treatment plan.
The plan can be as simple as teeth cleanings every three months, or topical antibiotics applied to the gums, or as extensive as periodontal surgery in a specialist’s office. Dentists usually recommend resolving the gum issues before moving on to more complex restorative or cosmetic work.
It is a matter of ensuring that the foundation (as in any building project) is solid and can support the dental work. A few minutes of research on the internet about the firmly established link between gum disease and heart disease will provide you with valuable information.
Call Bucks County Dental Design today at 215-364-2420. www.buckscountydentaldesign.com.
PHOTO CAP: Periodontal charting is an important part of insuring continued good dental health.