Periodontal treatment can moderately improve quality of life

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Traditionally the response of periodontal disease to treatment has most commonly been measured using the surrogate markers of; bleeding on probing (BOP); pocket probing depth (PPD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL).  This review aims to review whether a patient orientation measure (POEM) such as quality of life can measure the effect of treatment.

What did they do

The Medline, Embase, Cochrane CENTRAL and LILACS databases were searched. Hand-searching of relevant journals with unpublished literature was searched via the Zetoc database and the Google and Google-Scholar search engines.  Studies involving adult patients (>18 years) with periodontal disease receiving periodontal therapy (non-surgical and/or surgical) were included. The outcome of interest was a change in the patients’ oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) or Quality of Life (or QoL) from baseline (pre-treatment) to a minimum follow-up period of 1 week. Only studies which employed a previously validated measure of QoL or OHRQoL were eligible for inclusion. Studies were screened by one reviewer with two reviewers independently assessing the full-text articles for eligibility and assessing quality using an adapted Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS).

What did they find

  • 11 studies (639 participants) were included, 7 prospective case-series’ or uncontrolled before-after studies, 1 controlled before-after study and 3 Randomised controlled trials.
  • The methodological quality  of the studies was assessed as medium.
  • All studies reported impaired OHRQoL before therapy.
  •  Nine studies reported a statistically significant improvement in OHRQoL after non-surgical periodontal therapy

They concluded

This review suggests that, non-surgical periodontal therapy can moderately improve the OHRQoL of adults in the immediate (1 week) and long-term (12 months). This improvement may correlate with clinical indicators of periodontal health. The perceived benefit of surgical therapy may be relatively less. Periodontal therapy is beneficial from a patient-centered perspective.

The impact of periodontal therapy on oral health-related quality of life in adults: a systematic review. Siddharth Shanbhag, Manu Dahiya and Ray Croucher.  Journal of Clinical Periodontology  ‘Accepted Article’, doi: 10.1111/j.1600- 051X.2012.01910.x



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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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