Time between recall visits and residual probing depths predict long-term stability in patients enrolled in supportive periodontal therapy

J Clin Periodontol. 2019 Feb;46(2):218-230. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13041. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


Aim: To relate the time between recall visits and residual periodontal probing depths (PPDs) to periodontal stability in patients enrolled in supportive periodontal therapy (SPT).

Materials and methods: Retrospective data on residual PPDs from 11,842 SPT visits were evaluated in SPT patients at the Medi School of Dental Hygiene (MSDH), Bern, Switzerland, 1985-2011. A residual PPD-based algorithm was developed to compute SPT intervals with no expected change of residual PPD.

Results: A total of 883 patients aged 43.9 (±13.0) years and 55.4% (n = 489) being females were identified. Linear mixed model analysis yielded highest statistically significant impact on PPD change with time between SPT visits, presence of residual PPD ≥4 mm, and bleeding on probing (p < 0.0001). Patients returning for SPT five times consecutively earlier than computed presented mean % PPDs ≥4 mm of 5.8% (±3.9) compared with patients returning later (19.2%, ±7.6) (p < 0.0001). Additionally, patients attending >50% of their SPT visits earlier versus later demonstrated increased periodontal stability after 5 years (p = 0.0002) and a reduced frequency of tooth loss (0.60, ±0.93 versus 1.45, ±2.07) after 20 years (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: To reach and maintain periodontal stability during SPT, individual quantitative data from comprehensive residual PPD profiles may contribute to the improved planning of SPT intervals.

Keywords: recall interval; residual probing depths; supportive periodontal therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Periodontal Pocket
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tooth Loss*