Adherence to long-term supportive periodontal therapy in groups with different periodontal risk profiles

The study population consisted of patients who completed their active periodontal treatment at least five years prior to the study and who were then included in a supportive periodontal treatment programme, as well as a smaller patient group who had dropped out from that same supportive care programme.

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This study aimed to explore how the periodontal risk assessment changes during supportive periodontal therapy. The aim was also to investigate patient adherence to 3-, 6- or 12 months supportive periodontal therapy intervals.

The patients were categorised in low-, moderate-, or high-risk profiles based on set criteria. The supportive periodontal treatment intervals followed the risk assessment, corresponding to the intervals of 3-, 6- or 12 months.

The lowest risk group showed the highest share of patients being fully adherent, while the lowest level of adherence was displayed in the high-risk group. Thus, adherence seems to decrease with a higher risk profile and by shorter supportive periodontal treatment intervals.

A change in risk profile can occur during supportive periodontal care, especially in the low- and high-risk groups. The moderate-risk group showed the lowest frequency of changing groups. One outcome was that close to 50% in the high-risk group managed to move to a lower risk profile. Absolute adherence to supportive periodontal therapy intervals was shown to impact both the mean periodontal probing depth and the number of teeth in a positive way.

The clinical implementation from the authors is that periodontal risk assessment on a regular basis, together with adapting the intervals of supportive periodontal treatment, is a useful approach to maintaining a long-term periodontal treatment result.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Sonnenschein SK et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.