Dental Exam & Diagnosis
A Comprehensive Periodontal Examination evaluates your periodontal (bone and gum) health by assessing the following:
- Your risk factors for periodontal disease
- Your teeth and the way they bite together
- The bone structure surrounding your teeth
- Your gums
- Your plaque (bacterial film that attaches to teeth at the gum line)
- A full set of X-rays
- Your medical health
Dr. Audra Ward leads our team of professionals here at Ward Periodontics. A graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, a certified periodontist, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, Dr. Ward has established herself as one of the finest periodontists in the Kansas City region. Learn more about why our patients trust Dr. Ward for all of their periodontal needs!
Several measurements are taken during a periodontal examination, and those can be performed by a dentist, periodontist, or dental hygienist. It is common for these measurements to be repeated if you visit a different office and during the course of treatment as a way to evaluate your response to treatment. These measurements include:
- Pocket depth: A small ruler is used to measure the depth of the natural pocket around your tooth at six sites. Healthy pocket depths are generally 1-3 millimeters. Pockets that are 5 millimeters or higher may be cause for concern and treatment will generally be recommended. Pocket depths around dental implants can fluctuate and may measure deeper than around natural teeth.
- Recession: A small ruler is used to measure the amount of exposed tooth root. Exposed roots are an indication of bone loss and can be related to the infection periodontitis.
- Mobility: Tooth mobility is evaluated by placing a finger and instrument on opposite sides of the tooth and gently attempting to move the tooth. Mild mobility in front teeth can be normal, however, severe mobility and mobility in the back teeth can be a cause for concern.
- Furcation involvement: Some of the back teeth in your mouth can have more than one root. Periodontal (gum) disease can cause bone loss that opens up this space between the roots. Checking for furcation involvement is a process very similar to checking pocket depth.