A rapid, web-based calculator for the screening of gum disease
A newly developed algorithm showed the ability for rapidly and accurately predicting the presence of periodontitis in a non-invasive way. The ACTA (Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam) aimed to further improve and validate an easily accessible, web-based calculator (the “ACTA Periodontitis Calculator”), in cooperation with private partners Sunstar and Promaton.
Severe periodontitis (gum disease) is present in 25% of the population above 40 years. Periodontitis aggravates diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis and compromises their effective treatment. Notably, periodontitis treatment reduces severity of diabetes and lowers the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Physicians need to know (medical guidelines) whether their patients suffer from periodontitis. However, they lack the time, clinical skills and resources to perform a proper oral screen for periodontitis.
The new webbased calculator is freely accessible to all medical professionals, so it can be implemented in daily medical care practices without having to clinically examine the oral cavity, and thereby (i) enable them to adhere to the medical guidelines and (ii) to refer their patients to a dentist if needed.
The obtained results need further fine tuning and validation. As follow up on this project, the consortium has started a second external validation, with a new population of hospital-outpatients. With this additional careful step, the webbased periodontitis risk calculator will be updated in due course. The consortium partner Sunstar will implement the tool for their strategic activities in relation to the important link between oral health and general health. Applying the webbased tool by medical professionals is innovative, does not require any dental knowledge or clinical examination and so fulfils the need of screening for periodontitis in an easy and quick way.