Evaluation of Bone Loss

What is evaluation of bone loss?
The main reason that dentists, such as Dr. Daniel Mishaan, are such passionate advocates for proper brush and flossing habits is the fact that the bacteria in all the plaque and tartar that constantly sits on your teeth is eating away at the bone supporting your teeth.  The longer that plaque, and the bacteria it contains, is allowed to remain on the teeth and gums, the more damage it can cause.  This damage is irreversible and the bone that is eaten away and lost can never be grown back.  It is imperative to talk to your dentist about ways to stop bone loss.  Also, it is important to have your dentist evaluate your current bone loss.

How is bone loss evaluated?
Bone loss is evaluated using various methods.  These procedures can be simple tasks performed in the dentist office, or advanced tests sent off to a laboratory for proper results.  The easiest and most common method of bone loss evaluation is called a periodontal probe.  A periodontal probe is an instrument that is used to measure your gum pockets.  The probe is fixed with numbers to measure the depth of these pockets.  The larger the number measured by the probe, the more bone that has been lost.  This procedure is usually performed during cleanings and should become an annual habit after the age of 20.

In more serious cases of bone loss and periodontal disease, more advanced tests of bone loss are needed.  The most accurate evaluation of bone loss is by use of a radiograph.  A radiograph maps the surface of the tooth and takes out the guesswork of bone loss assessment.  The results collected from the radiograph are sent to a dental laboratory to be studied properly and to ensure precise results.

It is important to concentrate on arresting the progress of bone loss, as well as, tracking its progression.  If you feel like you have problems with periodontal disease and bone loss, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible and discuss ways to evaluate the problem and get advice on ways to stop it in its tracks.

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan.  He serves patients from all over New York City.