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Article: Volume 41 Number 4 Page 328 - May 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 328-337

Paediatric dentistry:  Simplified Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE) in Children and Adolescents: A Guide for General Dental Practitioners

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Abstract: Dental plaque-induced periodontal diseases are common in children and adults. Guidelines were previously not available for the periodontal screening of under 18s. However, new guidelines have been introduced by the British Society of Periodontology and the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry which set out recommendations for the periodontal screening and management of under 18s in primary dental care. This article provides a practical guide for general dental practitioners on how to use the BPE in children and adolescents, and highlights the importance of early detection and management of periodontal diseases in this age group. A failure to use the modified BPE in a young patient who is later diagnosed with periodontitis may leave a dentist vulnerable to a medico-legal complaint or claim.

Clinical relevance: New BPE guidelines for children and adolescents have been introduced by the BSPD and BSP; it is important that all dentists are aware of these guidelines and how to implement them in general practice.

Author notes: Emma Cole, BDS, MJDF RCS(Eng), Specialty Registrar in Paediatric Dentistry, Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Arijit Ray–Chaudhuri, BDS, MFDS RCS(Ed), MJDF RCS(Eng), LLM AHEA, FDS RCS (Eng), Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Mina Vaidyanathan, BDS, BSc(Hons), MFDS RCS(Ed), MSc MPaedent FDS(Paed), Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Joanna Johnson, BDS, MFDS RCS(Eng), MSc MPaedDent FDS(Paed), Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Sanjeev Sood, BDS, MFDS RCS(Ed), MDentCh FDS RCS(Eng), Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, King’s College Dental Hospital, London, UK.

Objective: To explain how to use the new BPE guidelines for children and adolescents in general practice.