434, 324, 323… What did she say??

Have you heard the dentist or hygienist saying numbers like this and wondered what it means?

He or she is measuring your periodontal pockets. The periodontal pocket is the pocket formed by your gum tissue that surrounds each tooth. At Goldenberg Dentistry we measure it to aid in diagnosing a patient’s periodontal health: the health of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.

We use a periodontal probe, an instrument that is inserted into the gum pocket to measure the depth. The measurements are in millimeters and smaller numbers are better.


As seen in the chart 1-3mm is a normal, healthy periodontal probe reading. 4mm means there is some inflammation, known as gingivitis, and there may be some bone loss starting which can be verified with radiographs. A pocket of 5mm means the beginning stages of periodontitis, inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth leading to bone and gum loss. The higher the number, the deeper the pocket, the more bone loss there is.


When a new patient comes in for a comprehensive exam, periodontal probing measurements are recorded in the patient’s chart as a baseline. Each tooth is probed at six different sites; three on the facial (cheek) side of the tooth; another three on the lingual (tongue) side of the tooth. The measurements and radiographs are used to evaluate the overall loss of attachment and help diagnose if a patients needs a routine prophy cleaning or a deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planning. The measurements are checked at recall cleaning appointments to aid in monitoring a patient’s periodontal health

Dr. Joel Goldenberg and Dr. Jessica Goldenberg not only love treating patients, but educating them as well. Call or e-mail Goldenberg Family Dentistry to set up your comprehensive examination today! (805) 642-4541 jagdds@pacbell.net


About Jessica A. Goldenberg, DDS

Dr. Joel Goldenberg started his dental practice after graduating from the USC School of Dentistry in 1983. He is committed to excellence in dentistry. Dr. Goldenberg is a member of the CDA (California Dental Association), ADA (American Dental Association), AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry and is a member with the Santa Barbara-Ventura County Dental Society. Dr. Goldenberg is well-known for educating his patients and involving them in the diagnosis and treatment planning process. He is very conservative, honest, and appreciates the artistic side of dentistry. For the past five years Dr. Goldenberg has traveled to Honduras with his wife and other local physicians and nurses to provide medical and dental care at a free clinic. Dr. Jessica Goldenberg was born and raised in Ventura, California. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of Southern California (USC) for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from USC with her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. She continued with the Trojan Family at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Goldenberg was the recipient of the prestigious Rex Ingram Award for Excellence in Clinical Operative Dentistry. She is a member of the California Dental Association (CDA), American Dental Association (ADA) and the Santa Barbara- Ventura County Dental Society. Dr. Jessica loves working with patients of all ages, especially families and children. It is important to her to make pediatric dental visits fun and enjoyable. She also enjoys making beautiful smiles with cosmetic dentistry. She prides herself on always being honest and providing conservative dental care.
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