Periodontal probe

Instrument used in the dental armamentarium and is usually long, thin, and blunted at the end.

Its primary purpose of a periodontal probe is to measure pocket depths around a tooth in order to establish the state of health of the periodontium.

It has markings inscribed onto the head of the instrument for accuracy and readability, and it’s tip is placed into the gingival sulcus, which is an area of potential space between a tooth and the surrounding tissue.

The first marking visible above the pocket indicates the measurement of the pocket depth.

The average, healthy pocket depth is around 3 mm.

Depths greater than 3 mm can be associated with loss of attachment o of the tooth to the surrounding alveolar bone, characteristic of periodontitis.

Pocket depths greater than 3 mm can also be a sign of gingival hyperplasia.

Bleeding after probing is one of the first clinical signs of active periodontal disease in uncomplicated cases and should be recorded per individual tooth and tooth surface.

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