March 18, 2022
by Gabriele Maycher, CEO, GEM Dental Experts Inc. BSc, PID, dip DH, RDH
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with Stay Sharp in the subject line.
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
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 email@example.com 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.
About the Author
A passionate educator with 30+ years of clinical and business experience, Gabriele has revolutionized the way practices optimize client outcomes, growth, and revenue through her consultancy company, GEM Dental Experts Inc. A former practice owner, published author, dental hygiene program director, quality assurance program assessor, entrepreneur of the year, and thought leader for Crest and Oral-B, Gabriele shares her innovative views on dental hygiene through her work as a public speaker, consultant, educator, and business coach for forward-thinking dental practices. Gabriele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gemdentalexperts.com.