Thank you to the British Society of Periodontology for a wonderful few days in the beautiful city of Oxford. It was a great opportunity to learn from the experts and catch up with the Perio family!
I thought I’d share my 5 top take-home messages:
1. Biology: While it is well recognised that genetic susceptibility is associated with periodontitis severity, microbial biofilms that accumulate on teeth are the key. These biofilms, if not well controlled, interact with the unique susceptibility profile of each individual and may become dysbiotic, initiating and sustaining the disease.
2. Oral hygiene & behaviour change: When trying to motivate your patients, focus on what THEY value e.g. confidence due to fresh breath, not bacteria and plaque. Decrease performance costs by using routines and reducing the skill level required for performance (e.g. electric rather than manual toothbrush).
3. Periodontal surgery: Most traditional periodontal surgery has been replaced by better infection control (non-surgical treatment). Periodontal surgery to improve tooth prognosis and achieve better case stability is now usually performed in a more localised fashion for the most compromised cases.
4. Implants: Retain the natural dentition wherever possible, even if the teeth are periodontally compromised. Complete periodontal treatment before placing implants. Plan wisely (surgery and design) – “periodontally driven implant placement”.
5. Medico-legal: According to Dental Protection, periodontal claims are one of the fastest growing areas of litigation. Often this is due to poor record keeping. Words have power so think carefully about terminology used. Examples:
☆ Instead of using ‘deep scale’ say ‘supra/subgingival debridement’.
☆ When discussing your treatment plan, use ‘phased approach’ NOT ‘splitting’.
☆ ‘Review’ implies this is part of your current course of treatment. ‘Assessment’ triggers a second course of treatment.
☆ Instead of ‘watch’ use ‘monitor’ as the latter implies measurement (and intervention if required) rather than a passive approach.