006 – Diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of periodontal patients by general dentists

  • Chief Investigator A: Prof Ivan Darby
  • Chief Investigator B: Dr Denise Bailey
  • Associate Investigators: Dr Bob Cvetkovic, Dr Ross Musolino, Dr Susan Wise, Dr Claudia Yung
  • Research Collaborator: Dr Su-yan Barrow
  • Support: Australian Society of Periodontology (Vic) and PEARL DPBRN for sharing study information for a comparative study


There are relatively few reports regarding periodontal therapies in the general dental practice setting. This project was a survey of Victorian dental practitioners to determine the criteria used to establish a periodontal diagnosis, what periodontal therapies are used and who subsequently provides periodontal therapies within general practices.


The project’s aims were to determine the criteria used in general practices to:

  • Establish a diagnosis of health, gingivitis or mild, moderate or severe periodontitis
  • Triage periodontal care of patients with periodontitis among the dental hygienist, general dentist and periodontist
  • Determine the interval of maintenance and recall of patients after active periodontal therapy


The project:

  • Found that Victorian dentists who took part in this study are using the appropriate clinical parameters to diagnose periodontal disease
  • Found that the diagnosis of periodontal disease by the practitioners that took part is generally accurate, but with a tendency to over-diagnose moderate periodontitis as severe
  • Will help in understanding decision-making criteria used in practice regarding periodontal therapy
  • Will aid the design of further studies looking at the effectiveness of the treatment of periodontal diseases