Research | Published:

Paediatric periodontal screening methods in undergraduate dental schools

BDJ volume 225, pages 10731077 (21 December 2018) | Download Citation

Key points

  • Provides an overview and comparison of delivery of teaching and practical periodontal assessment in paediatric patients across UK undergraduate dental schools.

  • Provides evidence on the awareness, teaching and usage of the 'Simplified BPE' as a periodontal screening tool.

  • Provides an overview of the prevalence and different types of periodontal diseases which can occur in children and adolescents.



Many forms of periodontal diseases affect children and adolescents. The simplified basic periodontal examination (BPE) is a screening tool for children aged seven to 17, which enables early recognition of such diseases. This study aims to investigate and compare methods of periodontal health assessments in the 'under-18s' across dental schools in the UK.

Materials and method

A web-based questionnaire was issued via email to teaching members of staff in each of the 16 undergraduate dental universities across the UK.


Out of the 16 correspondents, ten universities completed the questionnaire, giving a response rate of 63%. All respondents were aware of methods of periodontal screening for children and adolescents such as the simplified BPE. All universities taught and used the 'simplified BPE'. The majority of universities started paediatric clinics in year three and carried out practical periodontal assessments in children aged seven and above, at first visit and at recall.

Discussion and conclusion

All UK dental schools were aware of, taught and used the simplified BPE as a method of periodontal assessment. Most universities seemed to comply with the guidelines being implemented.

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Author information


  1. University of Leeds, School of Dentistry, The Worsley Building, Clarendon Way, Leeds, LS2 9LU

    • J. Sidon
    • , C. Kafero-Babumba
    • , V. Clerehugh
    •  & A. Tugnait


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Correspondence to J. Sidon.

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