Purpose: To evaluate the rates of periodontal examination in private dental practices in Brazil.
Methods: 235 dentists, 117 female and 118 males (mean age 33.1 years), presenting different levels of experience (mean: 11.2 years) were audited. In each dental practice, a team of two trained auditors evaluated dental examination kits for the presence of a periodontal probe, and checked whether there was any specific diagram to record the periodontal status of the patient in the model of clinical charts. The dentists were then asked whether or not they performed periodontal probing and radiographic examination of periodontal structures in all their patients. The degree of association between variables was evaluated using Chi-square or correlation tests.
Results: The dentists, 117 female and 118 males, were from 22 to 62 years old (mean age, 33.1 years), and presented 0.5 to 40 years of experience (mean of 11.2 years). Of the 235 clinicians, 19.3% performed periodontal probing in all their patients, and 17.5% of them record the periodontal examination, 48.9% of the professionals occasionally performed periodontal probing while 31.8% did not perform periodontal probing at all. Specialists in prosthodontics, and dentists having more than two specialties, excluding periodontists, performed periodontal probing more frequently than other specialists.