Parameters of Care

In response to increasing concerns on the part of health care providers, third-party payers, and consumers about the quality, cost, and access to dental care, the American Academy of Periodontology has developed practice parameters on the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases. These parameters are strategies to assist dentists in making clinical decisions from a range of reasonable treatment options to achieve a desired outcome. Practice parameters are designed to help the profession provide appropriate dental services while containing costs, without sacrificing quality. These parameters are constantly updated and are partially based on methodology utilized by participants in the American Academy of Periodontology 1996 World Workshop in Periodontics (Annals of Periodontology, Volume 1, 1996) to assess the evidentiary status of periodontal and implant treatment. The major goal is to improve treatment decisions by increasing the strength of the inference that practitioners can derive from the base of knowledge contained within the literature.

There are several types of periodontal diseases, with many treatment options. The Academy has developed a series of parameters to address a full range of clinical conditions. Although the parameters vary in their specificity and research base, they incorporate the best available knowledge on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal diseases.

Each parameter should be considered in its entirety. It should be recognized that adherence to any parameter will not obviate all complications or post-care problems in periodontal therapy. A parameter should not be deemed inclusive of all methods of care or exclusive of treatment appropriately directed to obtain the same results. It should also be noted that these parameters summarize patient evaluation and treatment procedures which have been presented in more detail in the medical and dental literature.

It is important to emphasize that the final judgment regarding the care for any given patient must be determined by the dentist. The fact that dental treatment varies from a practice parameter does not of itself establish that a dentist has not met the required standard of care. Ultimately, it is the dentist who must determine the appropriate course of treatment to provide a reasonable outcome for the patient. It is the dentist, together with the patient, who has the final responsibility for making decisions about therapeutic options.

For more information on parameters of care, we welcome you to fill out the form below to receive a free download. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the dental office of Anne A. Nicholas, DDS in Palm Desert, California today.

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