Coast Dental Blog
Fast Facts - Periodontal Diagnostics

Fast Facts

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 26
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back,  everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts, Perio Edition. Oh, my gosh, you guys. Welcome back! This week I'm so excited! We're going to be talking about some of the new concepts, in periodontal diagnostics and this is going to kick off an awesome conversation about some of the changes that we're starting to see from the American Academy of Periodontology.
In previous episodes, we talked about the fact that the AAP sat down as a World Federation in 2017 and really kind of decided that they wanted to reclassify the way that we had discussed periodontics previously.
I think we can all acknowledge that throughout time the AAP has been making a lot of these changes and you guys, some of them have been for the better, some of them have just made things more confusing! When I would go and when I travel, I speak in front of audiences. I would ask the room, how many of you are utilizing the case type classification system? Meaning you're classifying the patient as either gingivitis, slight, moderate or severe perio. And most hygienists in the room would say, oh my gosh, that's exactly how I'm classifying my patient. OK, that was the classification system from the 1980s. And I will advise you that there was a classification system in between the 1980s and what we know today as the AAP staging and grading. And that was this funky classification system that happened in 1999. How come nobody was using it? Because it was so confusing, but at the same time it was actually a fantastic way to classify perio. We just had to wrap our minds around it.
So in 1999, the AAP released this classification system that essentially allowed us to be a bit more specific about the type of disease our patient had. So they could be classification zero or healthy, classification one gingivitis, classification two chronic perio, classification three Aggressive perio, classification four perio as a manifestation of systemic disease, classification five... see where I'm going with this... necrotizing diseases, classification six abscesses of the periodontium, classification seven periodontitis associated with endodontic lesions and classification eight developmental or acquired deformities and conditions.
As you might imagine, people weren't using it because we simply did not know how we should integrate these classification systems into our diagnostics. What we did need to acknowledge, though, is that in 1999 what we did was we began to advise that perio isn't just one dimensional, it's not just slight, moderate or severe. There are other contributory factors to the disease process and so from 1999 until 2017 and published in 2018, we really had to carefully think about the way that we integrate diagnostics in the dental operatory.  And so 1999 gave us the opportunity, just like Prince says, "we partied like it's 1999". And what we acknowledged is that these classification systems, although useful, were not clear enough for us to do our best work.
Stay tuned next week as we talk about some of the major impactful differences between the 1999 classification system and what we know today in the 2017 AAP staging and grading classification system. Have an awesome week you guys.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We'll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

Patient Services

© 2023 COAST DENTAL SERVICES, LLC. All rights reserved. SmileCare and the SmileCare logo are registered trademarks of COAST DENTAL SERVICES, LLC.