If you’ve received periodontal care in the past, you’re encouraged to follow up your care with regular periodontal checkups. During your periodontal checkup, your periodontist can assess your response to treatment. If all looks good, you likely need no further treatment other than regular cleanings. But if your doctor sees a new or recurring dental issue, we can take immediate action to improve your condition.
You do not need a dentist’s referral. Call us at Southern Colorado Periodontics & Implants in Colorado Springs to schedule your periodontal checkup …
Keep reading to learn more about periodontal checkups
A periodontal checkup is a great chance to check up on your gums. During the exam, your dentist will inspect your gums and let you know about any problems. This can be an excellent way of preventing major diseases or getting care for any issues.
What to Expect at Your Periodontal Checkup
Did you know that you need regular periodontal checkups? This is a type of exam that makes sure your gums are healthy. Taking the time to get this checkup can prevent serious gum problems later on.
What Is a Periodontal Checkup?
A checkup is simply an opportunity for your doctor to look closely at your gums. They will carefully examine your mouth to see if there are signs of gingival disease. This can include redness, swelling, or bleeding. Your doctor will also check to see if gums are receding or if they can support teeth.
Most of a periodontal checkup focuses on probing your gum pockets. We know this can sound intimidating, but it’s actually very simple and mostly pain-free. Gum pockets are the tiny space between your gums and your teeth. Your doctor will slide a small probe into the pocket to see where the gums actually connect to the teeth.
The checkup lets your doctor test the depth of each pocket. Ideally, you should have no more than 3 millimeters of space. A larger pocket depth can mean your gums are pulling away from teeth.
If your doctor spots any signs of gum problems, they’ll suggest treatments. In some cases, you might just need to switch up your oral hygiene routine. In other situations, you may need procedures like a deep cleaning or a gum graft.
How Often Do You Need Periodontal Checkups?
The exact amount of time you should wait between checkups will depend on your oral health. Here are some of the common checkup schedules we use.
- Every three months: This schedule works well for those with active periodontal disease. If you have a problem like periodontitis, you might need frequent exams. This gives the doctor a chance to assess your condition and see if the treatments are working.
- Every six months: If your gums are in general good condition but you are at risk for gum disease, consider a checkup every six months. You can get this alongside your regular cleaning. It helps your doctor catch problems as soon as they develop.
- Every year: Those who are under 30, have good oral hygiene, and do not smoke can wait up to a year between visits. Talk to your doctor before waiting this long between visits though. It might not be advisable for some patients.
- Emergency checkups: Even if your last checkup was very recent, you should still schedule another if you notice any sudden changes or new problems. This can include bleeding, gum recession, reddened gums, loose teeth, or gum pain.
Why Should You Get a Periodontal Checkup?
Periodontal checkups are mainly preventative. Most gum problems happen due to progressive gum disease. This disease gets gradually worse and eventually causes tooth loss. Checkups can catch disease and infection before it gets too bad. This can reverse the course of infection and help keep your gums healthy.
Checkups are also an important part of gum disease treatment. If you have gum problems already, checkups let the doctor see exactly how bad it is. This allows them to suggest effective treatment options. Future exams will help your doctor see if your treatment’s working or if you should try something else.
How Much Does a Periodontal Checkup Cost?
The full price of a checkup will depend on what services you get. Many exams include X-rays, which can add around $150 to your costs. Your exam might also cost more if it includes a deep cleaning. However, some periodontists might actually offer discounted exams when you’re getting a checkup along with other services. This means your checkup might be anywhere from around $20 to $250.
If you have dental insurance, you can get help with costs. Most insurance will cover the occasional checkup as a preventative measure. Depending on the insurance you have, there may be specific copays or coinsurance for periodontal exams.
Are Checkups With a Periodontist Different From General Dental Checkups?
A periodontal checkup can be part of a general exam. Some dentists will include the gum probing and other tests during your regular cleaning and checkup. However, you get more out of the exam if you get it from a periodontist.
The advantage of going to a periodontist is that they specialize in gums. A periodontist is a dentist that has years of extra classes and training. This means that they are more likely to spot unusual gum disorders or see very subtle signs of early gum disease. Furthermore, a periodontist can actually treat any problems you have. This means you get your care and checkups in one spot, instead of having to work with multiple doctors.
If it’s time for your periodontal checkup, give us a call. Southern Colorado Periodontics & Implants can assess your gum health and help you find the right treatment.