The first step in advanced periodontal care is a proper medical assessment. At Southern Colorado Periodontics & Implants, we have advanced examination technology to evaluate periodontal diseases and disorders. If you’ve received periodontal care in the past, you may need a periodontal exam as part of your routine periodontal checkup. Or, if you’re a new patient, a periodontal exam will help us determine an optimal treatment plan for you.
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Keep reading to learn more about your periodontal examination options …
A periodontal exam checks your gum health. The doctor will measure gum pocket depth and examine your gums. They may also take X-rays and check for bleeding or swelling. If they find periodontal disease, they can suggest treatments. Regular exams will help keep your gums healthy.
Protect Your Gums with Regular Periodontal Exams
Periodontal exams might not be as common as general dental exams, but they are just as important. An exam allows a periodontist to carefully assess your gums and recommend appropriate treatments. How do you know if you need a periodontal exam? Understanding how these exams work will help you see if they’re right for you.
What Happens During a Periodontal Exam?
Due to each patient’s unique needs, each exam can be slightly different. However, the majority of exams will include these steps:
- The doctor will discuss your dental health history. They may ask what treatments you’ve had before and ask about symptoms you’ve noticed.
- Your doctor will examine your teeth, plaque level, bite, and bone structure. This basic examination provides a lot of insight into your gums’ health.
- The dentist will carefully look for receding gums, bleeding gums, and other signs of periodontal disease.
- Your doctor will use a thin probing tool to lightly prod the gums at the base of the tooth. They will measure how deep the space is before your gum and tooth connect. Deeper pockets may indicate gingival problems.
- Your doctor will discuss your oral hygiene with you and recommend options like medicated mouthwash or flossing.
- If your condition is very bad, your dentist will recommend treatment methods like pocket reduction or root scaling.
How to Tell If You Need a Periodontal Exam
You don’t need periodontal exams as often as regular dental checkups. However, it’s still a good idea to get them occasionally. These are some of the signs you might need an exam.
- It’s been over a year since your last exam. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends healthy adults get an exam on a yearly basis.
- You’ve been diagnosed with mild periodontal disease, and it’s been more than six months since your last check up.
- You’ve noticed bleeding gums, soreness, red gums, or other signs of gum problems.
- It’s been three months since you’re last exam, and you’ve been diagnosed with advanced periodontal disease.
Benefits of a Periodontal Exam
Getting regular exams is very useful. It allows the dentist to catch any problems before they get worse. Mild gum disease is far easier to treat. Therefore, a fast diagnosis can save you a lot of pain, hassle, and money later on. It can help you avoid major problems like tooth loss.
In addition to treatment, an exam also helps with prevention. Your doctor can let you know about activities that might harm your gums. They can also give you tips on how to better care for your gums. This can help you avoid all the discomfort of gum disease later on.
What Are Potential Risks of a Periodontal Exam?
A periodontal exam is almost entirely noninvasive. Therefore, it is very low risk. Patients may have some bleeding or discomfort if they have gum disease. However, this should feel similar to a standard dental exam.
The one risk that may occur is the transfer of bacteria. Doctors may probe both infected and healthy gum spots. This can spread bacteria around your mouth. Proper care can greatly reduce this risk. A dentist who sanitizes the probe after encountering any blood or pus can minimize risks.
Average Costs for a Periodontal Exam
A periodontal exam’s cost will vary a bit depending on a few factors. First, X-rays can add around a hundred dollars to the cost. These are necessary if you haven’t had an X-ray in a while. They help show the doctor your overall tooth and bone structure.
Next, your exam price can vary depending on what else you are getting done. Some doctors may include a complementary exam alongside routine cleanings. You might also get a brief, free exam as part of your consultation before certain procedures.
Your insurance will also affect costs. Most dental insurance will cover an annual periodontal exam. You may just need to pay a copay of around $20 to $50, or it might be free. However, your insurance might not cover additional exams each year. If you do not have insurance, expect to pay between $150 to $400.
Why Should You Visit a Periodontist?
A periodontist is the best type of dentist to perform a periodontal exam. A general dentist can do a basic gum exam. However, they do not typically have the extra training and experience of a periodontist. Periodontists have three more years of training than a standard dentist. This training focuses entirely on gum care.
Therefore, a periodontist can provide a more thorough evaluation. In an exam, they can quickly spot any problems. Furthermore, they can provide treatments like gum grafting and pocket reduction. This lets you get all the care you need at one place. You don’t have to make many appointments and travel to various specialists.
When you want high quality periodontal care, turn to Southern Colorado Periodontics & Implants. We are Colorado Springs‘ trusted periodontal team because we provide friendly service, dental expertise, and affordable prices. To schedule your next exam or learn more about our services, contact us today.