Session highlights global burden of periodontal disease and peri-implantitis

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Session highlights global burden of periodontal disease and peri-implantitis

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Dr Jan Derks presented the results of an observational study on the prevalence of peri-implantitis, and the diagnostic principles behind it, at EuroPerio9. (Photograph: EFP)

Fri. 22. June 2018

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Though there has been a great deal of research focused on the detrimental effect of periodontitis and peri-implantitis on an individual’s health, rarely has much consideration been given to the larger, socio-economic impacts of these conditions. As the world’s population continues to age, the real cost of these diseases has increasingly come into the spotlight, inspiring a thought-provoking symposium at EuroPerio9.

“Global burden of disease: Understanding periodontitis and peri-implantitis” was presented on Thursday morning to a sizeable audience. Session chair Dr Ola Norderyd introduced the topic and spoke about its significance in considering the true effects of these diseases. Prof. Thomas Kocher was the following speaker and discussed the contentious issue of whether the prevalence of periodontitis is ultimately declining, given the increased awareness of the importance of oral health. Kocher’s conclusion brought mixed blessings, for though there has generally been a decrease in caries in industrialised countries and periodontitis prevalence seems to be on the decline, the increasing number of elderly people, combined with a higher number of teeth on average in individuals, will likely result in an increased demand for treatment of this condition. “Though we have seen a somewhat dramatic improvement in oral health in some countries, thanks to the introduction of systematic preventative measures, this trend can also cause a massive increase in oral treatment, since a smaller segment of the population is edentulous,” stated Kocher.

Third to present was Dr Jan Derks, specialist in periodontology at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. He addressed the prevalence of peri-implantitis and the diagnostic principles behind it, and presented the results of an observational study he had conducted on this topic, the largest study of its kind. The results showed peri-implantitis to be a common condition and that several patient- and implant-related factors influence the risk of moderate and severe peri-implantitis.

Severe periodontitis is estimated to affect around 743 million people globally, making it the sixth most prevalent condition worldwide, and periodontal diseases are thought to be responsible for US$54 billion per year in lost productivity. As the prevalence of periodontitis rises with age, its global burden is likely to increase with a growing ageing population. The EFP has acted quickly in response to this, with a call for global action on the burden of periodontal diseases issued by EuroPerio9 Scientific Chair Prof. Søren Jepsen, Prof. Maurizio Tonetti, Prof. Lijian Jin and Dr Joan Otomo-Corgel in a 2017 issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. In addition, the current EFP President, Prof. Anton Sculean, used this year’s general assembly to announce his intention to raise awareness of the importance of periodontal health for those over 60 years of age.

With more and more edentulous patients opting for dental implants, peri-implantitis has become a condition that must be addressed at all points of pre- and postoperative patient care regimens. A later state of peri-implant mucositis, peri-implantitis is an inflammatory lesion of the tissue surrounding an implant, and it is often caused by the pre-existing presence of periodontal disease. Left untreated, peri-implantitis can lead to reduced osseointegration of the implant and, ultimately, implant failure.

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