Your general dentist or physician may have detected the presence of periodontal disease during a routine checkup. As your periodontist, we complete a more in-depth examination to determine the extent of your periodontal disease and to understand your overall general and dental health. Once the periodontal evaluation is complete, we have the information needed to plan the best course of therapy for you.

- Your Medical History
- Your Dental History
- The Dental Examination
- Your Treatment Plan

Medical History

My staff and I ask questions about your general medical health to help in diagnosis and treatment planning. For example, a medical condition such as diabetes or pregnancy may make you more prone to gum disease. Personal habits such as smoking can promote periodontal disease, and certain antibiotics used to treat gum infection can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Dental History

This part of your evaluation focuses on your previous dental health and treatment. We will want to know when your periodontal disease was first discovered, how it has been treated, and how you've been caring for your teeth. Your motivation, feelings about dental treatment, and commitment to plaque control and home care also affect the planning of your periodontal therapy and its likely outcome.

The Dental Examination

I examine your teeth and gums in detail to evaluate the extent of periodontal disease. Your gums are examined for bleeding, swelling, firmness, and abnormal contours. Your teeth are checked for movement and sensitivity. Other factors, such as your bite, that could contribute to the condition are also assessed. Current Full Mouth X-rays (radiographs) are usually required to detect breakdown of the bone surrounding your teeth. Each root of each tooth is carefully examined. Periodontal probing below the gumline involves measuring and recording the depth of the pockets around each tooth. Probing is the one of the techniques we use to find out how serious your condition may be. All of the available diagnostic measures are used to plan you teatment.

Your Treatment Plan

After your examination, I will discuss the extent of your gum disease and the treatment options. These usually consist of home care, nonsurgical therapy, and, in some cases, surgery. Some patients may need to have one or more teeth removed as part of the overall plan to prevent the spread of disease. I will discuss the recommended options with you and report to your general dentist. He or she will also compare the potential benefits with the risks and complications to arrive at a plan that is best for you.