Objective: To provide evidence that the Dutch periodontal screening index (DPSI) is a valuable tool for the screening of the periodontal status and to evaluate the application of the DPSI by general practitioners in the Netherlands.
Material and methods: To assess the validity of the DPSI, an available data set was used consisting of 131 subjects with various degrees of periodontal breakdown in whom plaque, calculus, pocket depth, bleeding on probing and attachment loss was evaluated at all inter-proximal sites. The application of the DPSI in general practice was studied in a random sample of 300 practising dentists in the Netherlands by means of a questionnaire.
Results: Full-mouth inter-proximal measurements showed that 19.1% of the subjects had >or=6 mm attachment loss at >or=2 sites. The DPSI identified 100% of the subjects with this condition. The results of the survey questionnaire showed that about 75% of the general dental practitioners were applying the DPSI, although only 15.1% were performing this consistently when a regular check-up was performed. The mean time required for the assessment of the DPSI was 3 min.
Conclusion: The DPSI is valuable tool for the screening of the periodontal condition during general dental check-ups.