Journal Articles

Publication Date



Canadian Journal of Dental Hygeine


BACKGROUND: In 2017, the American Academy of Periodontology and the European Federation of Periodontology updated the classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions. The goal of the present crossover study was to develop straightforward, illustrative flowcharts and determine their impact on the accuracy and speed of diagnosing periodontal conditions by predoctoral dental students (DS) and dental hygiene students (DHS).

METHODS: Two flowcharts (a decision-tree flowchart and one based on the periodontal disease/condition entity) were developed using updated diagnostic determinants proposed by the 2017 classification. A total of 26 second-, third-, and fourth-year DS (DS2, DS3, and DS4, respectively) and second-year DHS (DHS2) took a mock examination consisting of 10 periodontal clinical cases. The participants first diagnosed periodontal conditions using only their curricula-based knowledge (control) and then using the flowcharts (test). They also completed an optional post-examination questionnaire to provide feedback on the flowcharts. Statistical significance was detected at

RESULTS: Combined test groups had significantly higher accuracy in diagnosing periodontal conditions compared to controls (73.5% vs 50.0%, respectively), with the most substantial improvement in DS2 (66.3% vs 30%, respectively) and DHS2 (70.0% vs 41.4%, respectively). Combined test groups also completed the examination more quickly compared to controls (14.92 vs 20.85 minutes, respectively). The participants provided positive feedback and constructive criticism on the flowcharts, and also suggested converting them into application software.

CONCLUSION: The flowcharts significantly improved the accuracy of diagnosing periodontal conditions in academic settings, especially among junior, less experienced participants.


Cross-Over Studies, Education, Dental, Humans, Oral Hygiene, Software Design, Students

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