This information sheet is prepared as an adjunct to the charting forms contained within the Introductory Kit.
An integral part of any patient examination is the assessment of periodontal status. Visual cues, such as the appearance of the gingiva, can often lead to a false sense that the patient is in health. Without some examination of the amount of pocketing that is present under the gingival margin, no true assessment of periodontal health can be made. Periodontal probing is an essential part of this assessment. However, the recording of all this information is not only time consuming, but it also requires adequately designed forms. Future information sheets will outline the CPITN and full periodontal charting techniques for screening and complete assessment purposes.
The problem of recording probing depths on a repeated basis is that often on the treatment card there is insufficient room to do such a recording along with a restorative charting, or there is no form available to record this information separately.
Various approaches have been developed, depending on the size of your records and your system of storage. One of the most compact and adaptable forms is the use of a Rubber Stamp, (either self inking or used with an ink pad). A stamp of the design such as the one illustrated in the Kit can fit on 8x5 cards, and is stamped onto the patient's record whenever a periodontal examination is undertaken. In this way, the recording of the periodontal examination, diagnosis and treatment is not separate from the rest of the patient's dental record, giving a good overview of the order of treatment.
Many practices throughout Australia already use, or would like to start using, a separate card or sheet of paper to record the periodontal examination. Included in the Kit are examples of both four site or six site periodontal recording forms which can be folded to slip into an envelope storage system. The four probing sites per tooth forms allow for adequate recording for many patients. However, because periodontitis is such a site specific disease, there is a benefit in recording six sites per tooth and we would therefore encourage practices to use these forms especially for those patients who will be requiring on- going advanced periodontal care.
The example forms have the advantage of being a "prompt" to the operator with regard to notations of- Probing depths Calculus 3. Bleeding 4. Recession 5. Mobility/furcation involvement 6. Radiographic findings '7. Diagnosis 8. Prognosis 9. Treatment planning You may like to adapt one of these forms to suit your individual recording style, or you may wish to contact the Dental Practice Education Research Unit at the University of Adelaide, and we will advise you on the printing and delivery of a form which suits your practice.