March 18, 2022
 by Gabriele Maycher, CEO, GEM Dental Experts Inc. BSc, PID, dip DH, RDH.


Still confused about the 2018 AAP Periodontal classification? Never fear! The next few monthly columns will review some of the most important updates made to the industry’s global periodontal guidelines to help hygiene teams achieve the highest level of care. Once we have exhausted this topic we will move onto other questions about the process of care. If you have any specific questions, you would like answers to, please let me know.

This issue we take our final in-depth look at the 2018 AAP Periodontal Classification. We’re excited to bring you more Q&As from Gabriele Maycher in 2022 on such topics as client care, record keeping, technical skills, office communication, and much more. Email your questions to amy@newcom.ca with Stay Sharp in the subject line.

What systems do you recommend for referencing the 2018 AAP Periodontal Classification in everyday practice?

If you’re going to provide optimal care, there’s no question that you and your team need to reference the latest 2018 AAP periodontal guidelines with every patient. And with all the new information, it’s not possible to memorize everything you need to know. So how do we keep all this vital information at our fingertips?

 

I recommend using these Periodontal Diagnostic Guidelines, developed by me—a hygienist—for the clinical hygienist. (Table 1 and 2) A set can be laminated for each hygiene operatory, so they
don’t walk off and are always at the ready. The guidelines are written in a concise format, making it quick and easy to identify the benchmarks you’re looking for. They will help ensure that every team member is aligned and working from the same set of guidelines, plus they’re easy to clean and disinfect.

Table 1: Periodontal Diagnostic Guidelines

Table 2: Periodontal Diagnostic Guideline Legend

*COE includes Medical/Dental Health History, Intra-and-extra oral examination, hard tissue examination (occlusion, attrition, abfractions, frenum pulls, abrasion, super/over eruption, missing/impacted/extracted teeth, open contacts, root canal treated teeth, implants, etc.), periodontal examination (probing, BOP, recession, furcation involvement, mobility, MAG), Hygiene Diagnosis Documentation, and a Treatment Plan (Recommended & Accepted). © January 2022. GEM Dental Experts Inc.

*COE includes Medical/Dental Health History, Intra-and-extra oral examination, hard tissue examination (occlusion, attrition, abfractions, frenum pulls, abrasion, super/over eruption, missing/impacted/extracted teeth, open contacts, root canal treated teeth, implants, etc.), periodontal examination (probing, BOP, recession, furcation involvement, mobility, MAG), Hygiene Diagnosis Documentation, and a Treatment Plan (Recommended & Accepted). © January 2022. GEM Dental Experts Inc.

Whenever I consult with a dental practice and complete the GEM Dental series of clinical workshops, I provide the hygiene team with 13 pocket-size laminated pages as reference sheets, like those provided in this article. I can tell you from years of experience that these guides become the most coveted tools in every workstation.

The pocket-size laminates include radiographic recommendations; a comprehensive oral exam checklist; blood pressure, premedication, and medical dental history positive response recommendations; a list of common lesions and descriptors; a staging and grading synopsis; parameters of health vs. gingivitis and prognosis; and much more. These laminates are a synopsis of the information from the original articles written by the American Academy and European Federation of Periodontology.1

As a dental professional, I want all practices to provide the highest level of care, and that means learning, embracing, and implementing our industry’s most current guidelines. I hope that over the past year I’ve helped your team better understand and implement the classification. And I’m leaving you with a gift for your commitment to improving oral health: visit https://gemdentalexperts.com/2022/01/26/gem_dental_sample_templates/ to download the “Periodontal Diagnostic Guidelines and Legend” as seen in Table 1 and 2, and as a bonus, I have included the “Periodontitis Staging and Grading” synopsis that you can laminate and use chairside. You can also view and enquire about the rest of GEM Dental’s pocket-sized laminates.

If you still have questions about the 2018 AAP Periodontal Classification system, please feel free to email them to amy@newcom.ca and we will address them in a coming newsletter or issue. Be sure to look for my new Q&A column, “Stay Sharp: Practice guidelines for the clinical hygienist,” which will debut in the next issue of Oral Hygiene.

References

  1. The 2018 World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Per-Implant Diseases and Conditions co-presented by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) See www.perio.org/2017 wwdc for additional information

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