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Quintessence Int. 2018;49(1):17-23. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a39096.

Associations between patients' understanding of periodontal disease, treatment compliance, and disease status.



The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations between patients' understanding of periodontal disease, their individual compliance to homecare, self-reported periodontal disease, and how they have been educated regarding their oral health.


A cross-sectional study was performed by distributing questionnaires to patients at the University of Alberta Dental Clinic. A survey consisting of 45 questions was constructed in order to quantify patients' understanding of periodontal disease (section 1), where they received their information, how often they have been instructed by dental practitioners, their homecare habits (section 2), and their self-reported periodontal status (section 3).


In total, 286 surveys were analyzed from participants (92 males; 191 females; 3 other), with an age range of 15-87 years (mean 42.6 ± 15.1). Correctly answered questions ranged from 39.5% to 95.8%, the highest related to smoking and lowest regarding gingival pockets. Only 42.0% and 42.7% understood the purpose of periodontal probing and the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis respectively. Of the participants, 13.3% and 54.2% had never been shown how to clean their teeth or counselled regarding dietary habits from dental professionals respectively, and only 24.8% had been shown more than four times how to clean their teeth. A moderate association was found between sections 1 (knowledge) and 2 (habits/instruction), between sections 1 and 3 (self-reported health), and between sections 2 and 3.


Moderate association between knowledge, homecare habits, instruction from dental professionals, and self-reported periodontal health was found. Patient understanding is lacking in certain areas and there seems to be a lack of patient education from dental professionals. As dental professionals improve patient instruction, there may be an improvement in patient compliance to homecare and periodontal health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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