Periodontal disease patient management guidelines released

Sept. 5, 2006
Guidelines published in September Journal of Periodontology will help clinicians identify if and when a patient should be referred to a periodontist.

CHICAGO--The American Academy of Periodontology commissioned a task force to develop guidelines for the management of patients with periodontal diseases to encourage referring dentists and periodontists to work together to optimize the health of patients.

The Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Periodontal Diseases are intended to help the general practitioner in the rapid identification of those
patients at greater risk for the consequences of periodontal inflammation and infection and, therefore, those patients most appropriate for specialty referral.

"Today, there is a greater public awareness about periodontal diseases and more treatment options for patients than ever before," said Kenneth A. Krebs, DMD and AAP president. "However, as advancements in periodontal therapy continue to develop at a record-breaking pace, periodontal diseases remain the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

"In addition, accumulating research is further defining the links between periodontal diseases and other systemic conditions such as diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and cardiovascular diseases. Patients are beginning to understand that good periodontal health is more important than ever before."

"It is the Academy's hope that these Guidelines will help to improve the periodontal health of all patients with periodontal diseases," explained Donald S. Clem, III, DDS, and Chair, Task Force to Develop the Guidelines.

"Evidence suggests that an increasing number of patients would benefit from periodontal specialty care. Clearly there has been some confusion regarding periodontal treatment and continued reevaluation of its effectiveness and when a periodontist should be consulted as a member of the patient's treatment team. These Guidelines can help the entire dental team in the timely identification of patients with periodontal diseases and those most appropriate for specialty