Jack Caton, DDS, MS, professor and chair, Eastman Institute for Oral Health’s Periodontics Department, served as a co-chair for the World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Peri-Implant Diseases and Conditions.
After three years of planning and intensive literature reviews, more than 150 top experts in periodontal science, education and clinical care from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas met to discuss and reach consensus on the classification and diagnosis of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions. Significant periodontal disease affects more than 50 percent of the population worldwide and diseases around dental implants is on the rise.
“The purpose of the workshop was to bring together global leaders within periodontology and implant dentistry to update the classification using current evidence,” said Dr. Caton, a longstanding leader in the field.
Dr. Caton, who worked alongside three other co–chairs from the United States and Europe, has been very active in the classification and diagnosis process since the 1970s. As the expert with the most experience, he also served as facilitator during the conference as the various work groups presented their recommendations.
“It’s been nearly 20 years since the last classification workshop, and scientific findings over this time period justified revisiting and updating the classifications that will help provide optimal care for patients, as well as more precise case definitions for scientists studying the diseases,” said Dr. Caton, a past president of the American Academy of Periodontology.
The new classification will provide periodontists, prosthodontists, general dentists, dental hygienists and patients the ability to communicate and have a common language based on a simple diagnostic criteria that is understandable and informs treatment decisions.
“For example, implant dentistry has become a major component of patient treatment planning and care since the last workshop in 1999,” Dr. Caton explained. “And just like tissues that support natural teeth, the bone and soft tissues surrounding dental implants are susceptible to problems without proper care and management.”
The new proceedings outline definitions of health and disease in this particular context, acknowledging that with a growing number of implant cases comes an increased need to identify and treat implant-related conditions.
Other highlights from the proceedings include a re-categorization of various forms of periodontitis, a new staging and grading system, and the inaugural classification for peri-implant diseases and conditions.
“The staging is more precise now in terms of classifying severity of disease but also the complexity of the treatment of the disease. The more severe the disease, the more complex the disease, with many factors to consider,” Dr. Caton explained. “Like other diseases, the staging system is now in four levels, and the new grading system will lead to treatment plans that can be personalized for the individual patient.”
With almost 50 years of leadership in this process, Dr. Caton is amazed with the progress.
“It’s great to see the enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge from this new group of leaders from different parts of the world,” he said. “This group of scholars has evolved from a very small contingency almost exclusively from the U.S. and Western Europe to a large group from all over the world. It’s a very special thing to be a part of.”
The complete suite of review papers and consensus reports from the workshop is available in the June 2018 print and online special issues of the Journal of Periodontology and the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.