New guidance published on preventing and treating periodontal diseases

15 February, 2024 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Most people in the UK at some point experience periodontal diseases in the form of gingivitis or, more seriously, periodontitis. In newly updated clinical guidance published today, NHS Education for Scotland’s (NES) Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) brings together the latest advice on periodontal disease classification and treatment within one digital resource.

The second edition of Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases in Primary Care is based on the best available evidence using SDCEP’s NICE-accredited methodology. The guidance describes the principles of periodontal care, patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and long-term care, and provides clear and practical recommendations and advice to support dental teams working with patients to maintain or improve gum health.

For the first time, SDCEP is presenting this guidance within a dedicated website to aid accessibility, navigation and updating. Various tools to support the implementation of the guidance, including information for patients, are also available.

The new guidance will support dental professionals to provide periodontal care efficiently and more sustainably

Professor Jan Clarkson

Madeleine Murray, Specialist in Restorative Dentistry and Chair of the group that developed the second edition of the guidance, said: “We have comprehensively updated this guidance and are excited to be providing it in this new format. By following the recommended prevention and treatment strategies, dental teams should be well-placed to identify patients with, or at risk of, periodontal disease and to provide care that is tailored to each patient to improve their oral health, and in some cases their general health.”

Several organisations have endorsed the guidance as a source of reliable, high-quality professional advice. These include the British Society of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, the College of General Dentistry and the dental faculties of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and the Royal College of Surgery of England.

Professor Jan Clarkson, SDCEP’s director, said: “This updated guidance draws on the best available evidence, including that generated in dental practice in the UK, and incorporates internationally agreed strategies for providing periodontal care. The new guidance will support dental professionals to provide periodontal care efficiently, thereby reducing waste of resources and effort and providing care more sustainably.”

Professor David Felix, Postgraduate Dental Dean and Director of Dentistry at NES, added: “We welcome the publication of the new edition of Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases in Primary Care as a valuable resource for dental professionals in Scotland and beyond. SDCEP continues to support the delivery of oral healthcare which is safe, effective and person-centred by promoting new thinking and the adoption of research evidence into clinical practice.

“Broad professional support of this guidance is signified by the endorsement by several key stakeholders. Members of the development group are to be congratulated on their achievement in updating this important guidance.”

Further information on the work of SDCEP is available at

Tags: Periodontal diseases / SDCEP

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