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Diagnosis

Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination.  This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.

A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums.  The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed.  The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters.  As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper.

Your dentist or hygienist will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease.  Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.

Periodontitis

Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar).  As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth.  Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus.  The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily.  Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.

Advanced Periodontitis

The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed.  Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost.  Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.

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Testimonials

Dr. Stark has performed several dental procedures on me over the past two years. His technique (especially in extractions!) is unsurpassed. In the past, I have invariably experienced extreme pain for a couple of days post-op. But not with Dr. Stark! I didn't need to take even an aspirin afterwords. And I must take very strong issue with the so-called "Flagstaff informer" in regard to cost. Case in point: I had thought that I would need TWO implants to replace my two front teeth. But upon examination, the good Doctor told me that I would need only one (the other one he would simply crown). His honesty in this regard will save me thousands of dollars. I intend to retain Dr. Benjamin Stark as my dentist for the remainder of my life (I am 63). He is the best dentist I have ever had.

Douglas D.

Dr. Stark is the bomb! I can honestly say he is my most favorite dentist that I have ever been too. I am usually very nervous at the dentist and put off visits for as long as possible. But he made me feel very comfortable and acted like he really cared about me as a patient and person. He is definitely my new permanent dentist and I will be going back in regularly for check ups. Thank you!

Sherry M.

Going to Dr. Stark was a great experience. I was greeted by an incredible staff, and Dr. Stark was very friendly and personable. He was able to explain everything that he was checking for. I really felt like he wanted me to understand the health of my teeth. I also had my 2 kids with me. The kids had no problem sitting in the chair while their teeth were cleaned. Dr. Stark worked great with the kids and helped them feel calm during the appointments. So glad our family's dentist trip was positive!!!

Angie S.

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