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Implementing the 2018 Classification of Periodontal and Peri-implant Diseases into Your Practice

Posted Dec 4th, 2020 in the wire, thought leadership, 2020

Jodie Cantarelli, A.A.S., R.D.H., Dip.AdEd, Manager of Dental Hygiene Programs at dentalcorp

By now you would have seen or heard of the new classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases, which replaced the previous (1999) classification system and addressed most of its limitations. Research indicates that 80% of North American adults have some form of periodontal disease, while evidence also indicates that there is a link between oral and systemic health.

In 2017, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), in collaboration with the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), developed a redesigned disease classification framework that guides comprehensive treatment planning and allows for a personalized approach to patient care. 

A recent edition of CDHO Milestones magazine states,

This new classification scheme facilitates an international language for clinical communication. It is the new standard of information that all dental hygienists around the world should be aware of and have adopted in their practice by now. Having an international language such as this will ensure consistency and continuity of client care.  

The new system aims to distill the most striking changes and important concepts into several key tables suitable for immediate chair side implementation. Key elements include:

  • Multi-dimensional system with systemic correlation
  • Classification is done by stages and grades of periodontitis
  • Defined treatment protocols that follow the classifications 

Several factors are taken into account in order to determine the periodontal status of a patient. In addition to the clinical and radiographic findings, we are now considering the complexity of case management, as well as the rate of disease progression (including the systemic factors that may affect it), before we assign the proper disease stage and grade to our patient.  

Think outside the box

Think outside the time managed care, reactive treatment, and insurance coverage and focus on the factors that affect overall health. Unlike the 1999 one-dimensional model of strictly classifying the oral condition, the new system takes into account a more broad spectrum assessment, encompassing all aspects of periodontal health to help inform a customized proactive treatment plan.

For more information and to obtain chairside resources, visit

As originally published in Oral Hygiene.

About the Author

Jodie is a Manager of Dental Hygiene Programs at dentalcorp. In her role, she partners with dental teams across Canada to help them provide optimal patient care. Jodie earned her degree in Dental Hygiene, diploma in Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University. Her professional experience includes private practice, a clinical evaluator for the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, a clinical and didactic instructor, program director, past advisory board member, published author and professional speaker.   

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