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Frequently asked questions to a Dentist York

What does the dentist mean when they say I have pockets around my teeth?

The gums usually fit like a tight collar around your teeth. If the gums are damaged this tight collar can loosen and a pocket will form around the tooth.

Why does my dentist call out numbers to the nurse when they look at my teeth?

Dentists can be calling out numbers for two main reasons. They may be carrying out something called a basic periodontal exam (BPE exam). This is a screening technique to check the health of your gums around each tooth. The dentist will walk a probe around your gums and depending on what they find will assign a number from 0-4

  • 0 means the gums are perfect keep up the good work!
  • 1 means the gums bleed but no pockets, calculus or plaque retention factors are present and you only need to improve your removal of plaque in the areas your dentist shows you.
  • 2 means the deepest pockets are <3mm and/or calculus or plaque retention factors are present below the gum line. This would indicate you need the teeth scaling to remove the calculus and removal of any plaque retention factors. (You will also be advised how to stop the plaque and calculus reforming)
  • 3 means the deepest pockets are 4 or 5 mm, so the situation is a little more advanced than 2 but you require the same treatment.
  • 4 means you have a tooth or teeth with pockets >6mm. Your dentist may recommend you see a periodontal specialist.

The second set of numbers the dentist may use during this examination refers to the different teeth in your mouth which is like a code corresponding to each one -    

1=central incisor    
2=lateral incisor    
4=first premolar    
5=second premolar    
6=1st molar    
7=2nd molar    
8=3rd molar or wisdom tooth  

How does a dentist’s drill work?

The drill works by using compressed air which is passed through fine tubes at a very high pressure, and that turns miniature turbines connected to the drill itself. There are two types of drill a dentist will mainly use. A high speed drill which is very fast and used for cutting enamel and old fillings and a slow speed drill which is mainly used to remove decay. The high speed drill usually has water spraying out at the tip of it to prevent the drill getting very hot when cutting and damaging the tooth.

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