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Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases in Primary Care

Person receiving toothbrushing guidanceThe Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) published guidance on Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases in Primary Care in June 2014. The guidance is designed to assist and support primary care dental teams in providing appropriate care for patients both at risk of and with periodontal diseases. The guidance aims to support the dental team to:

  • Manage patients with periodontal diseases in primary care appropriately;
  • Improve the quality of decision making for referrals to secondary care;
  • Improve the overall oral health of the population.

Various practitioner-led research studies were conducted before and after publication. This included:


Interviews with general dental practitioners (GDPs) and dental hygienists (DHs) explored current practice, practitioners’ attitudes towards managing periodontal diseases and their preferences on the content of the periodontal guidance. A report on the findings from the scoping interviews(PDF) is available.

Diagnostic analysis

During consultation a draft of the guidance was made available on the SDCEP website and circulated to various individuals and organisations, including practitioners working in primary care, for comments. Practitioners were asked about the usability of the guidance and their specific beliefs about implementing some of its key recommendations: give oral hygiene instruction; carry out a BPE; conduct a full periodontal examination and discuss smoking cessation. A summary report of the results(PDF) is available.

Next steps

In May 2015, further information was collected to assess for any changes in practice since publication. The findings will identify any training requirements and inform the development of an appropriate intervention, if required. Findings will be available later in 2015.


G. Forbes, S. Rutherford, D. Stirling, L. Young and J. Clarkson. Current practice and factors influencing the provision of periodontal healthcare in primary dental care in Scotland: An explorative study. British Dental Journal 218: 387-391 (2015)