Use of the basic periodontal examination and radiographs in the assessment of periodontal diseases in general dental practice

A Tugnait, V Clerehugh, P N Hirschmann
Journal of Dentistry 2004, 32 (1): 17-25

OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to investigate (1) the use of the basic periodontal examination (BPE) by general dental practitioners (GDPs) and their selection of radiographs for the assessment of periodontal disease and (2) whether this selection concurred with existing selection (referral) criteria.

METHODS: Three mailings of a self-completion questionnaire were sent to 800 GDPs working in the National Health General Dental Service in England and Wales. Dentists were presented with six clinical scenarios for which they were asked to describe their use of radiographs.

RESULTS: Ninety-one percent of dentists reported that they used the BPE in new patients, with 56% using it for all patients; 84% of dentists used BPE in recall patients. BPE use was related to the dentists' age and postgraduate qualifications. There was a wide variation in the radiographic views used for periodontal disease assessment. The choice of radiographs was not generally in line with the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) 1998 selection criteria, particularly for the clinical scenarios of pocketing >5 mm, irregular pocketing or pockets associated with teeth with heavy restorations. Sixty seven percent of dentists concurred with recommendations for radiographs for a suspected periodontal-endodontic lesion.

CONCLUSIONS: A majority of dentists reported clinical screening for periodontal diseases using the BPE. There was considerable variation in the selection and use of radiographs and practice was not in line with existing guidelines for many clinical situations. Evidence-based referral criteria should be actively promoted to ensure high standards of radiographic practice in general dental practice.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"