Interviews and assessments of returning non-compliant periodontal maintenance patients
: journal of clinical periodontology
Background: Periodontal therapy without a maintenance programme has been shown
to be of doubtful value. Most studies show a low-level of compliance with periodontal
maintenance therapy. Many suggestions as to the reasons for this have been put
forward, but it has been difficult to confirm these, as the patients are not available to be
Aim: To identify, interview and assess returning non-compliant periodontal
Method: All patients who had undergone periodontal therapy between 1986 and 2004
but not complied with the maintenance therapy were interviewed and assessed when
they later returned to the specialist office for treatment.
Results: Sixty-one patients with an average age of 56.4 years (SD 11,1) were studied.
There were 18 males and 43 females. The patients were compliant for 3.4 years (SD
3.2) before leaving and returning after 5.5 years (SD 3.3) of non-compliance. Average
tooth loss while non-compliant was 1.6 teeth (SD 2.8). The interviews revealed that 37
patients attended their own dentistÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office exclusively for maintenance therapy, eight
patients gave health reasons and seven patients lack of motivation or failure to
cooperate. Thirty-six patients were re-referred by their own dentist, 13 changed dentist
and were referred by this dentist, while 12 patients contacted the specialist office
directly. Fifty-three patients claimed to have been fully compliant with their own
dentist while non-compliant with the specialist office.
Conclusion: The main reason for non-compliance was that the patients did attend
their own dentist exclusively for maintenance therapy. Tooth loss and periodontal
deterioration was more marked in this group than patients who in addition attended the
specialist office for maintenance therapy.
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