Carl Horton

Periodontal Referrals

The basic periodontal examination (BPE) forms the basis for assessing the need for a periodontal referral.

BPE scores and findings:

0. No bleeding or pockets detected
1. Bleeding on probing - no pocketing >3.5mm
2. Plaque retentive factors present – no probing >3.5mm
3. Pockets >3.5mm but <5.5 mm in depth
4. Pockets >5.5 mm in depth

Furcation involvements and combined recession and probing depth that totals 7mm or more should be scored as *

The Referral Process

According to the referral policy guidelines of the British Society of Periodontology, patients can be categorised into the following complexity degrees:

• Complexity 1: BPE 1-3
• Complexity 2: BPE 4
• Complexity 3: BPE 4, and additional complicating factors such as smoking habit, age (<35 years), medical history, root morphology, rapid breakdown; additional need for dental implant therapy and/or augmentation/bone removal)

Patients with a complexity grade 2 or 3, furcation involvements or mucogingival problems may require advanced periodontal therapy (e.g. surgical periodontal procedures or adjunctive therapies) and should therefore be referred to a periodontist.


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