Periodontal Disease – Part 2 ( X-rays)
In my last Blog, I introduced you briefly to the concept of Periodontal or Gum Disease. In this blog and in future ones, I will start to discuss how we evaluate and treat your gum disease.
At Malki Dental in River Edge, NJ we start you out with a visit with our hygienists. At this cleaning appointment or “hygiene visit” as we like to call it, the hygienist will start the evaluation process.
This process usually begins by reviewing your medical history, asking you about past dental experiences and visits, previously taken x-rays, dental work from the past and what your chief complaint may be regarding your current dental health.
At the start of your appointment we usually recommend a full set of x-rays if you have not had them recently. These x-rays are a very important part of our diagnosis process. The full set of x-rays consists of 18 films. Our office uses digital x-rays, which means the amount of radiation is at a minimum. Studies have shown that you receive more radiation from sitting in front of your computer then you do from dental x-rays.
These x-rays, usually taken once every 3-5 years, depending on your periodontal health, start off by showing us whether or not you have any cavities, any tooth infections and if you have periodontal disease.
What the hygienist and dentist are looking for is to see if you have any bone loss or if you have bacteria that has built up under the gum line and formed tarter or what we call “calculus”. Tarter or calculus is a hardened substance that gets stuck to the tooth root under the gum line and speeds up the process of gum disease. It is very important that this stuff is removed from under your gums, because it will cause you to loose bone and eventually lose your teeth. It is composed of the bacteria that causes the inflammation, bleeding and swelling of your gums.
So from these x-rays, we can measure the amount of bone loss, if any that has occurred. By knowing how much bone loss has occurred, we can determine how advanced the gum disease is.
Without the necessary x-rays your dentist will not be able to make a proper diagnosis and tell you exactly what is going on in your mouth. It really is one of the most important steps in the process of having and maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
For more information regarding periodontal disease and dental x-rays please contact Malki Dental in River Edge New Jersey at 201-646-0800 today. Our staff will ensure that you will have a great experience in our office and at the same time we will begin the process of helping you keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime.