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What are the main components of a comprehensive periodontal examination?


This question was submitted by a general dentist: What are the main components of a comprehensive periodontal examination?

Dr. Sayed Mirbod, representing the Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP), provided this initial quick response:

The primary objective of periodontics is to help patients maintain the form, function, and esthetics of their teeth for as long as possible. In essence, a complete periodontal examination is carried out to determine a treatment plan that will aid with the aforementioned objective of periodontal therapy.

The initial patient assessment should include the following:

  1. Measurement of probing depths,
  2. Measurement of attachment levels and corresponding loss of attachment,
  3. Recording of signs of inflammation,
  4. Assessment of the degree of furcation involvement,
  5. Evaluation and interpretation of radiographs, and
  6. Recording of mobility.

Based on the initial examination results, an appropriate diagnosis consisting of the classification of the disease and the assignment of the disease severity and distribution is made. For example, a diagnosis would consist of classification of Chronic periodontitis, with a disease severity (slight, moderate, severe), and a disease distribution (localized vs. Generalized). The formulation of an appropriate prognosis based on the clinical findings and diagnosis will assist the development of an appropriate treatment plan.


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  1. Dr. Mike Bulger August 20, 2013

    My comment is that every comprehensive exam (be it periodontal, general, etc.) should include a comprehensive dental and medical history. Causative factors of conditions are often revealed before the clinical exam.

  2. alexjohny August 7, 2019

    A very informative article defining the primary objective to help and maintain patients teeth. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.


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