Welcome to Dr David E. Clarke’s Masterclass on Periodontal Probing.
Probing assesses the periodontal status of the patient’s oral cavity. Information is recorded on a dental chart and will determine the course of treatment.
The gingiva (or gum), a stratified squamous epithelium surrounds the teeth and attaches to the tooth at the cemento-enamel junction, via a junctional epithelium and is termed the epithelial attachment. The gingiva can be divided into two regions: the free gingiva (which lies coronal to the epithelial attachment, is mobile, and does not attach to the tooth surface) and the attached gingiva (which lies apical to the epithelial attachment, is not mobile and attaches to the periosteum of the underlying bone).
A graduated periodontal probe is placed under the gingival margin to determine the depth of the gingival sulcus. The depth of the sulcus or pocket is measured in millimetres from the edge of the gum along the root surface towards the root tip to the depth of the epithelial attachment. In healthy pets, the V-shaped space created between the free gingiva and the tooth surface is termed the gingival sulcus and has a probing depth of 0-0.5 mm in cats and 2-3 mm in dogs. In diseased pets, the sulcus is termed a pocket and measures greater than 4 mm in dogs and 1 mm in cats. These measurements are recorded on a chart for future reference. Electronic charts can be accessed at www.vetdentalcharts.com
Watch the Probing Technique video…
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