How Does a Dental Chart Work?

When you visit our office for a routine cleaning appointment, you’ll most likely notice our hygienists and dentists charting your teeth with a number associated with each one. Most patients wonder what the numbers mean and how our team comes up with them. Here’s the brief answer:

Your dental chart is a simple, graphical way to organize the health of your teeth and gums. Your hygienist will go over each tooth, using what’s known as a CPITN probe to examine the quality of the gums surrounding each tooth. The hygienist will move the probe around all aspects of the tooth while applying minimal pressure. While some hygienists have different ways of charting, the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses has created the following rating scale for basic periodontal examinations:

0- Health periodontal tissue and no bleeding after gentle probing

1- Bleeding after gentle probing, the black band remains completely visible, and there is no calculus or margin detected

2- The black band remains completely visible and calculus or other plaque has been detected

3- The black band is partially visible in the deepest pocket

4- The black band is not visible in the pocket

Teeth with scores of 2 or worse will receive plaque removal treatment, while scores of 3 will receive non-surgical periodontal treatment. Scores of 4 often require some type of surgical treatment for the tooth.

If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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