Should hygienist measure the gum pocket sizes before or after the prophylaxis?


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Jun 30, 2016
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I moved cities and just started as a new patient at a different dental practice with a new patient exam. I don't have any dental insurance, so I paid upfront before seeing the dentist.

They started with Xrays and a dentist exam. The dentist said there are no cavities and just get a basic cleaning. I went to the receptionist to pay cash for the prophylaxis.

Then a hygienist looked at my Xrays and began cleaning. I asked about having the pocket sizes measured. The hygienist nodded but continued to clean. Just before polishing, the pocket size measurements were measured: mostly 3mm (which is within the healthy range) but also about ten 4s (warning signs). No gum bleeding. In the past I've only had a few 4s that improved to 3mm by the next appointment because the hygienist spent more time cleaning on those areas.

Should the pockets have been measured before the cleaning? The hygienist could've then cleaned more carefully where the 4s are located. Maybe that's where there might be some calculus below the gum causing the 4mm pocket irritation.
 
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honestdoc

Verified Dentist
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Jun 14, 2018
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Usually probing is done before cleaning unless there are tons of tarter preventing accurate pocket measurements. Maybe the hygienist forgot or thought probings were completed.
 
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