Periodontal health of dental clients in a community health setting


Associate Professor Ivan Darby
Melbourne Dental School
The University of Melbourne
720 Swanston Street
Parkville VIC 3010


Background:  The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and severity of periodontal disease and possible risk factors in clients attending the Plenty Valley Community Health (PVCH) dental clinic.

Methods:  After ethics approval and calibration of examiners, all consenting patients attending PVCH were examined for periodontal status using the Community Periodontal Index (CPI) system and a World Health Organization (WHO) probe.

Results:  A total of 2861 patients were screened, of which 1751 were female. The majority of patients were Australian born followed by Mediterranean birth. Just under 50% brushed their teeth twice a day and only 20% flossed regularly. It was found that 28.4% had CPI scores of 3 and 4 with only 3.1% recording 0 and a widespread presence of calculus. The severity of periodontal status increased with age, male gender, decreased frequency of brushing, lower level of education, diabetes and reflected country of birth.

Conclusions:  PVCH has a higher prevalence of periodontal disease than the most recent national survey which reflects the population studied.