Compliance, a term widely used, refers to the extent to which a person’s behaviour corresponds with professional advice. Compliance regards supportive periodontal care, oral hygiene regimes carried out at home, and professional care carried out in the clinic. Adherence, on the other hand, is based on a relationship between the dental professional and the patient. Here, the patient needs to take a more active role, assuming an understanding of the disease and the treatment. Trust, dialogue, and including the patient in decision-making are core elements. Lastly, persistence refers to the length of time that the patient continues to perform the behaviour.
Periodontitis is a chronic disease, and to achieve a long-term stable treatment result supportive therapy is fundamental. This requires compliance, which needs motivation, adherence and persistence. The results from the study show that approximately 30% of patients treated for periodontitis comply with the supportive therapy on a long-time basis. Withdrawal from the maintenance regime is most common during the first and second year.
The frequency of maintenance care performed at the clinic is based on several factors; however, there is no scientific support regarding the most optimal intervals. Oral hygiene is stated as the key factor to maintain stable periodontal conditions, even more important than the frequency of maintenance visits. That said, both factors influence compliance with supportive periodontal treatment.
The authors stress that reinforcement and motivational interventions must be a significant element, both during the active periodontal treatment phase and throughout the supportive periodontal treatment.
A summary of a scientific article
This summary of a scientific study by Echeverría JJ et al.is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.