In 2017, following a World Workshop, a new classification system for periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions was proposed. Over 170 clinicians and researchers from all over the world, including Canada, assembled to edit the existing classification system to make it more effective.
This is significant for Intra-Oral Dental Assistants as it is part of their scope of practice: Take & Record Gingival Plaque Indices and Assessing and Reporting Oral Health Status. In Alberta & Manitoba, Intra-Oral Dental Assistants are trained to perform Periodontal Screening & Recording (PSR).
It is also included in the NDAEB Dental Assisting Domain Description.
NDAEB Domain 4. Patient Records
The NDAEB Domain Description of Dental Assisting discusses completing and updating patient records/documents including oral hygiene indices.
NDAEB Domain 5.10 Periodontal Procedures
The NDAEB Domain Description of Dental Assisting discusses describing periodontal screening and recording.
“Gingival diseases can be separated into and defined as dental biofilm-induced or non-dental biofilm-induced. Biofilm-induced gingivitis is a site-specific inflammatory condition initiated by dental biofilm accumulation and characterized by gingival redness, edema and the absence of periodontal attachment loss. The key clinical features of plaque-induced gingivitis include erythema, edema, bleeding, tenderness, heat, loss of function and gingival enlargement. It is commonly painless and therefore, most patients are unaware of the disease or unable to recognize it. Patients may however often report bleeding gums, pain (soreness), halitosis, difficulty eating, or red swollen gums. Unlike periodontitis, gingivitis is completely reversible with the mechanical removal of dental biofilm.” October 16, 2018
by Peter C. Fritz, BSc, DDS, FRCD(C), PhD (Perio), MBA; Wendy E. Ward, BArts&Sci, BSc, MSc, PhD; Amanda B. Longo, BSc, MSc, PhD
Intra Oral-Dental Assistants may be assigned by the dentist, the procedure of taking and recording gingival plaque indices and assessing and reporting oral health status. To accomplish this, the IODA must be able to describe, using accurate terminology, the clinical gingival characteristics. These include; colour, consistency, texture, contour, and size (Table 14-3 in your Modern Dental Assisting textbook). They can also be responsible for gathering information during a conversation with a client, including health history with medication/supplement use, previous dental history, habits, oral hygiene practices and motivation level.
The Dental Assistant will regularly document from dictation, all periodontal assessments from a Registered Dental Hygienist or Dentist and must be proficient in the classification system of periodontal disease to precisely record findings.