I just got back from the dentist. Hadn't been in since 2007 after I got out of the military. Had some concerns about cavities, etc. but turns out my gums aren't in the best shape. I had a lot of 2's 3's all around but... heard 5, then 6 and my heart sank. The hygeinist cleaned me out good and said I was borderline on needing a deep cleaning. The dentist saw me after my cleaning and said it looked like I had a little bone loss but suggested I be kept under observation and if it got worse he'd refer me to a periodontist. I asked if I was ok and he said if he was more concerned he'd send me over right away but to ease my mind he wrote me a referral and said I could get it checked out if I liked. My referal slip reads "Localized Periodontal Consideration # XXXXX 15, 18, 31. How worried should I be? Can I recover on my own now that I had a cleaning?
Just went to dentist for first time. Had x-rays, exam, and cleaning.
Hello -- you shouldn't be concerned. I would do as the dentist said by having him keep an eye on things for you. There is nothing the periodontist can do for you differently than the hygienist did at this point. Localized periodontal disease around the teeth you listed is not uncommon and some studies have suggested that greater than 80% of the population has some degree of periodontal disease. Be regular with your hygiene appointments at your dentist's office and be as perfect as possible with your oral hygiene. You may find some reduction in the pocket depths the next time you see the dentist with some excellent oral hygiene on your part. I hope this answers your question...let me know if I can provide any further clarification.
All the reading I've done online suggests I should have received a deep cleaning, possibly scaling, etc. How come I just received a normal cleaning if it is difficult to clean a 6mm pocket with a standard cleaning.. or am I wrong? My next scheduled appt is 6 months from now.. isn't that a bit far out to wait and find out if I've improved or worsened? Thanks for the answer just wondering after doing some googling and reading.
If you have generalized 4-6 mm pockets you would have or should have had a deep cleaning. It is possible that the hygienist cleaned the teeth properly (did a localized deep cleaning) and they didn't charge you for it that way. It would not be appropriate to deep clean your entire mouth if there are only a few teeth with mild periodontal disease. It is not uncommon to watch the area for a while to see if the condition improves. If the pocket depths increase you should seek the opinion of the periodontist in the future. I would treat you in the same way. Furthermore, localized deep cleaning can be done in the future rather than full mouth deep cleaning.
My hygienist took a swab and ran a topical anesthetic over my gums before starting the cleaning. Since my mouth was full I didn't ask just listened. Guessing the anesthetic is not used in ordinary cleanings? She said she was going to pop off the tartar that was built up. It was painful when she worked on the areas where those deep pockets were but I felt it was entirely worth it. She made mention that I was borderline for needing a deep cleaning. She gave me fluoridex and told me to really pay attention and be consistent with my oral hygeine. Will Listerine antiseptic help at all?
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It seems that Dr. Winterholler is offline. I would be able to continue from here.
Scaling is nothing but it is a professional cleaning of the teeth with ultra sonic instrument. Your oral hygienist provided you with normal professional cleaning ( or scaling ).Removing the plaque or tartar ( which causes periodontitis ) from the tooth surface above the gum line is known as ' supra gingival scaling ' while removal of the same from the tooth surface underneath the gum is known as ' sub gingival scaling '.The hygienist would have performed sub gingival scaling.Local anesthesia is required in sub gingival scaling.
Now, talking about a referral size, a 5mm standard for referral to a periodontist is standard guideline and it possibly needs a specialist care. Specialist care helps in preserve the tooth in this situation by eliminating the deep pockets and regenerating support for the tooth.6 - 8 mm probing depth is usually regarded as ' advance periodontal disease '.Specialist have limited success when the depth are 9 mm or more, so the early references of advance cases is likely to provide with the best result.
You could go in for Chlorhexidine ( 0.12% ) 2 rinses daily ( app. 10 ml ) as it inhibits the development of dental plaque, calculus and gingivitis which are the main culprit for periodontal diseases.Listerine and Fluoridex usually contain stannous fluoride, thymol, menthol etc which do not possess the anti microbial potential as that of chlorhexidine products.
I would suggest you to visit a Periodontist at the earliest as this is the right time to stop the progression of the disease.
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It sounds like the hygienist did some cleaning below the gum tissue and the dentist will re-eval you later. The use of Listerine or Crest Pro Health will help due to the antiseptic nature of it. I hope this helps.
4 years Private Practice, Heavy emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry and Implants, Top 10% of Dental Class