Periodontal Probing

Periodontal probing is part of the charting process which takes place when a new patient enters the practice or as part of the regular exam. Periodontal probing along with radiographic exams help to determine the periodontal health of the patient’s teeth.

Probing is done at 6 sites on a tooth:

  1. Mesial buccal or facial
  2. Cervical buccal or facial
  3. Distal buccal or facial
  4. Distal Lingual
  5. Cervical Lingual
  6. Mesial Lingual

(It is sometimes necessary to probe a Bi or Trifurcatation of a molar)

A periodontal probe is an instrument used to measure the depth of the sulcus or free space around the tooth. The sulcus is like a collar around the tooth.  In a normal healthy mouth, the depth of the sulcus is usually 1 to 3 millimeters deep. The periodontal probe has markings denoting the depth usually in 3 millimeter increments.

The depth of the sulcus is measured by placing the probe gently into the gingival sulcus parallel to the long axis of the tooth. The reading will then be from the gingival margin to the end of the sulcus or pocket toward the apex of the tooth. The readings are then recorded on to the patient’s chart.

Periodontal probing helps us to determine the dental needs of our patients.  If you suspect that you have periodontal problems or are developing pockets around your teeth, contact Pi Dental Center to schedule and evaluation.

Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA