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Probing depth discrepancies

I have been a hygienist for 11 years. In the past 6 months, I have referred 2 patients to the Periodontist. He has called both times to consult with my DDS about these patients saying that they have 7-8mm pockets with calculus and they should have FM SRP. One patient was referred for an isolated defect and the other for MAG. My measurements were 5-6mm except the one defect which was 7+mm. My DDS asked the Periodontist if he should talk to me about it and he said no. He claims that my measurements were likely correct, but the patients just have so much plaque and calculus, that they have pseudo pocketing. I had cleaned their teeth about a month prior. My boss has no doubt that I am probing correctly, but he wants to know how I want to address this. The first patient came to our office to do the SRP and I reprobed while he was numb. I really had to push hard and over angulate to get close to his readings. How would you handle this? I don’t think my DDS will stop referring to him unfortunately.

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1 Answer

Interesting. I have had a similar situation. I have referred several pt’s to a local periodontist. Some for FM perio, some localized or for recession. The periodontist always sends us a report with a copy of their PC. Their PC is consistently 2 mm higher in pocket areas. At first I was concerned I was some how messing up. However, there are three hygienist in our office and it happens to all of us. I have had the Dr in my office double check my findings and his are the same as mine. It’s difficult, as I know the Dr will continue to refer as it’s our only option.

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