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Citation: J Periodontol. 2016 Oct;87(10):1165-73.

Authors: Georgios S. Chatzopoulos, Lazaros Tsalikis, Antonios Konstantinidis, and Georgios A. Kotsakis

Abstract: The assessment of periodontitis and treatment needs is primarily based on clinical and radiographic examinations. Albeit effective in predicting treatment needs, these examinations are costly, time-consuming, and impractical for assessing population-level needs. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate a two-domain self-report questionnaire for rapid periodontitis screening. Six hundred white adult individuals, dentate or partially dentate and seeking dental therapy at a university clinic, underwent oral examination utilizing the full-mouth Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN). To assess predictive value of self-reported periodontal measures (SRPMs) for periodontitis screening, four questions were formulated. Two questions aimed to assess “dentist-diagnosed periodontal disease” and two inquired about “self-assessed periodontitis.” Multiple logistic regression models were used to construct receiver-operating characteristic curves, and predictor selection was performed via a forward stepwise selection process. Five hundred thirty-five volunteers with a mean age of 50.1 years elected to respond to SRPMs via telephone interview. After oral examination, 17.8% of participants were assessed as having CPITN = 4, representing compromised periodontal status. Sensitivity and specificity for correctly classifying compromised periodontal status ranged from 5.3% to 72.6%, and 87.8% to 99.5% for individual SRPMs. Sensitivity and specificity were increased when combining a measure of self-assessed periodontal disease and a measure of dentist-diagnosed disease as predictors. Addition of age and sex maximized sensitivity/specificity at 82.1%/82.2%. Diabetic status, smoking, and body mass index did not enhance the prediction. A two-domain self-report measure combining two self-report items with age and sex has good sensitivity and specificity for periodontitis screening in a white, university-based population. The proposed self-report measure can be valuable for periodontitis screening in resource-limited settings where gold standard clinical examination may not be pragmatic. Further validation studies are required to assess whether findings from this study are context-specific.

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