Initial periodontal screening and radiographic findings – A comparison of two methods to evaluate the periodontal situation

Dirk Ziebolz, Ivette Szabadi, et al

BMC Oral Health 2011,

Published: 14 January 2011

Abstract (provisional)


The periodontal screening index (PSI) is an element of the initial
dental examination. The PSI provides information on the periodontal
situation and allows a first estimation of the treatment required. The
dental panoramic tomography (DPT) indicates the proximal bone loss, thus
also allowing conclusions on the periodontal situation. In this study,
the results of both methods in determining the periodontal situation are


The clinical examination covered DMF-T, QHI, and PSI scores at four
proximal sites per tooth; the examining dentist was unaware of the
radiographic finding. Based on the PSI scores, the findings were
diagnosed as follows: score 0 – 2 “no periodontitis“, score 3 and 4
“periodontitis”. Independent of the locality and time of the clinical
evaluation, two dentists examined the DPTs of the subjects. The results
were classified as follows: no bone loss = “no periodontitis”, and bone
loss = “periodontitis”.


Severe periodontal disease

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112 male subjects (age 18 to 58,O 37.7+/-8 years) were examined.
Regarding the PSI,17 subjects were diagnosed “no periodontitis” and 95
subjects “periodontitis”. According to the evaluation of the DPTs, 70
subjects were diagnosed “no periodontitis” and 42 “periodontitis”. A
comparison of both methods revealed that the diagnosis “no
periodontitis” corresponded in 17 cases and “periodontitis” in 42 cases
(53%). In 47% (53 cases) the results were not congruent. The difference
between both methods was statistically significant (p<0.001;


The present study shows that the initial assessment of the
periodontal situation significantly depends on the method of evaluation.

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