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. You may have heard your dentist calling off numbers (2, 3, 4, 3, 5 etc.) during your exam. These numbers relate to the depth of the pocket space. 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 get deeper due to advancing bone loss.

Drs. Versman, Heller, Beckman, Thousand or one of our hygienists 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 pull away from the teeth and a deeper space develops between the gum and the root of the tooth. These deeper pockets 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 eventually lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present. It is critical to treat gum disease at its earliest diagnosis. As the condition progresses, treatment becomes more complex and difficult. Please call our office if you have any questions concerning the diagnosis or treatment of gum disease.

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  • Silke SancaktarSilke Sancaktar

    I needed an implant on one of my rear molars, and Dr. Thousand and his team did the implant work at the Aurora office. I had to do the procedure with minimal sedation due to the fact that I had to drive myself back to work after the procedure. Despite this, there was minimal pain and discomfort, and everyone did an incredible job. He's very good about telling you what he's doing and is very detail-oriented. He is never dismissive and always takes time to answer questions.

    After everything healed up I went to my regular dentist to have the crown installed. After the crown placement I had a terrible headache and toothache for a week before my regular dentist would see me again to adjust the crown. However, even after she made some adjustments I was still in pain the next day.

    I didn’t know what else to do so I reached back out to Dr. Thousand for help even though he wasn’t responsible for the crown. Knowing that I was in acute pain they were able to get me in the same day at the Littleton office. Turns out there were some major defects on the crown that my dentist had overlooked that contributed to the acute pain, and would have likely resulted in infection down the road. Dr. Thousand spent almost an hour working with me and modifying the crown for temporary use so that I could have it placed back over the implant while a new crown is made.

    He didn’t need to do this since this wasn’t a mistake attributable to his office, but he and his team went above and beyond, and didn’t even charge me for the work. I had been in so much pain I could barely focus, and so this help meant so much to me because I could now function again. This was at the end of their day so I’m sure it meant a later day for everyone, but I can’t thank you all enough for giving me that relief. We’ll certainly be coming here for future dental issues, and referring Dr. Thousand and his team to friends.

  • Nina JasonNina Jason

    We have been going to Periodontal Associates for 27+ years. We see Dr. Heller and he is great. I have had bone replacement surgery and continue to see the practice for check ups every six months. Great caring group of staff, and hygienists as well. Wouldn't go anywhere else.

  • Jessica LarkinsJessica Larkins

    Absolutely amazing, this place really will help you get where you need to be. And they're worth it.

  • Daniel J KlaimanDaniel J Klaiman

    Dr. Eric Beckman and the entire staff of Periodontal Associates provide excellent and compassionate care for all of your Periodontal and Implant needs. I highly recommend them.

  • Floyd VissatFloyd Vissat

    Had 2 molars extracted within 2 years. No discomfort during and after the procedure. Healing went well.
    Friendly staff

  • Melissa H.Melissa H.

    Let's be honest here - there is nothing fun about having gum surgery. However, the staff and Dr. Heller were as good as it gets with regard to my treatment....

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

We Are Colorado’s Premier Provider of Dental Implants & Periodontics

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26 W Dry Creek Circle
#300

Littleton, CO 80120

Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed