Always eager to bring the best technology and innovation to our practice to better serve our patients, North Raleigh Periodontics is excited to incorporate the Florida Probe System into appointments in our office! You may wonder, “just what is the Florida Probe,” and “how will it benefit me?” Keep reading to find out . . .
During every exam and cleaning appointment, we gently measure the depths of your periodontal “pockets,” which is the gingival sulcus (the spaces between you gingiva and teeth), to determine your probing depths. A probing depth of 0-3 millimeters is indicative of healthy gums, because it demonstrates that healthy gum is snug against the teeth. However, probing depths greater than 3 millimeters means that bacteria is eating away at the gums, destroying gum tissue creating problematic gingival pockets. Pockets of 3 millimeters or more indicate varying stages of periodontal infections that should be promptly addressed.
Traditionally, the charting for such probing depths have been recorded by handwriting or typing the measurements into the patient’s chart during the periodontal exam. This is a time consuming process and may leave room for error or inconsistent recording between multiple examiners. With the Florida Probe, however, we can chart probing depths and other periodontal indicators such as recession, inflamed gingiva, subgingival microbials etc., with exceptional accuracy and increased speed.
The Florida Probe System works by allowing the dental professional to use voice activated prompts to record probing depths and other information into the Probe’s electronic system. Thus, instead of taking up time to periodically stop the exam and physically write down charting, the periodontist or hygienist can seamlessly complete the exam without stopping by speaking into a headset while working, letting the System convert verbal cues into written charting. The decreased time needed to record charting means that the hygienists and I gain more time to spend actually cleaning the teeth and gums, performing procedures, or going over treatment plans and areas of concern with the patient.
Furthermore, the Florida Probe increases the accuracy of probing depths. Typically, the pressure dental professionals exert upon the gums during probing varies from person to person, leaving room for probing depths that may vary slightly, depending on who performs the exam. However, the System’s constant-force, computerized probe permits measurements to be consistent from examiner to examiner who may probe with differing amounts of force. This heightened precision allows me to more accurately determine a correct diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan specific to my patients’ unique needs.
Finally, the System gives patients automatic feedback when it detects certain, problematic probing depths, making patients aware of potential problems and allowing them to take ownership of their periodontal health.
In summation, the Florida Probe System allows practitioners to quickly record probing depths and charting without ceasing the examination or procedure and without taking their eyes off the patient. Furthermore, the System promotes high levels of consistency, allowing me to more accurately diagnose and treat patients. Finally, the System alerts patients to problem areas and oral complications, allowing the patient to realize the issues at hand and understand next steps to be taken in the treatment process. Because the Florida Probe allows me to spend more time actually treating the patient, promotes accurate recording, and helps me to better educate the patient regarding his or her oral health, I am excited for the opportunity to utilize the System here at North Raleigh Periodontics.