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At least 3 years of self-responsibility for periodontal care after 2 years of supportive periodontal therapy

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This study aimed to investigate the periodontal condition when patients became self-responsible for the continuation of periodontal care, after non-surgical periodontal therapy and 2 years of Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT).

Materials and methods

Fifty-seven patients completed a previous 2-year SPT study and were afterward advised to seek for dental assistance for maintenance care. After 4.2 ± 0.45 years of self-responsibility for periodontal care (SRPC), 27 patients could be re-examined of which 9 patients had followed the advice to turn to a dental professional for SPT care. Visible Plaque (VPI), Gingival Bleeding (GBI), Periodontal Probing Depth (PPD), Bleeding on probing (BOP), and Clinical Attachment Loss (CAL) were obtained from SPT study: before and after non-surgical treatment, and after 2 years of SPT. The same parameters were reassessed for the present study. General linear models for repeated measures were used for data analysis.


At the end of the SRPC period, mean GBI, BOP, and PPD values (43.5%, 55.7%, 2.76 mm, respectively) were back to pre-treatment, whereas VPI (64.3%) and CAL (3.76 mm) became significantly higher. The percentage of sites with PPD ≥5 mm as well as sites with CAL ≥4 or ≥5 mm also returned to pre-treatment values. However, the percentage of sites with PPD ≥4 mm was still significantly lower compared to pre-treatment values but higher than after 2 years of SPT.


Self-responsibility for the continuation of periodontal care after professional treatment should be avoided.

Clinical relevance

Clinicians and specialists must be conscious of making all efforts to maintain the patient’s frequent recalls.

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The study was supported by a grant of the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq, #479288/2011-9). The author LFB received a scholarship from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level for Education Personnel (CAPES; Brasilia, DF, Brazil).

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors were responsible for drafting the manuscript, revising it critically and for the approval of the final version to be published. All authors were responsible for the accuracy and integrity of the study. LFB made substantial contributions to the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data. PDMA was responsible for the statistical analysis. UV made substantial contributions to the analysis and interpretation of data. RVO and SCG made substantial contributions to the study conception and design, analysis, and interpretation of data.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sabrina C. Gomes.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

The Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) approved the study protocol, in accordance with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (CAAE 52292421.7.0000.5347). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Bittencourt, L.F., Angst, P.D.M., Oppermann, R.V. et al. At least 3 years of self-responsibility for periodontal care after 2 years of supportive periodontal therapy. Clin Oral Invest 26, 4987–4994 (2022).

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