What is a PSR?

June 23, 2023

By Dr. Nicole Shen

You have probably heard your dentist calling out numbers during your dental checkup and wondered what those numbers mean. Those numbers are part of a periodontal screening and recording (PSR). A PSR is a diagnostic rapid screening for periodontal disease. The dentist will use an instrument called a periodontal probe to examine the gum tissue around each tooth to ensure that there are no deep pockets or bleeding.

There are generally six numbers recorded for a PSR, as the mouth is divided into sextants. A zero represents no bleeding, no calculus, and probing depths less than 3.5mm. A one represents bleeding, but no calculus, and probing depths less than 3.5mm. Two signifies that there is bleeding and/or calculus, and probing depths less than 3.5mm. A record of three or four suggests that there are deep periodontal pockets greater than 3.5mm. The worst/deepest pocket in the sextant is recorded.

A complete periodontal examination is warranted when a score of three or more is recorded in two or more sextants. A complete periodontal examination is an in-depth evaluation of the bone and gums around your teeth which include a series of X-rays, a full “charting” of certain parameters and observations of your individual periodontal status in order to formulate a treatment plan to best serve your individual needs.

This article was published on 06-23-2023 in The Altamont Enterprise.