A dental hygienist uses a periodontal probe which is a dental instrument able to measure the attachment level of the ligament and bone surrounding a tooth. The probe is placed between the gum and the tooth and is only placed down far enough to measure the ligament attachment, which in a healthy mouth is only 1-3 mm below the gum line. The space being measured naturally has a pocket that the probe is small enough to fit into so there is minimal to no discomfort when having these areas measured. Every tooth is measured on the sides, front and back to ensure that the gums are healthy all the way around the tooth. Typically a healthy mouth takes no longer than 2 minutes to probe. If a person presents with periodontal disease the probe charting usually takes longer but no longer than 5 minutes. Measuring for gum disease is included in the prophylaxis appointment and has become a standard procedure.