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Periodontal Screening and Recording

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  • For more clinical information, please click the "Dentist Version" tab above.

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What are the benefits of PSR®?

PSR® provides the following benefits:

  • Early disease detection.
  • Evaluation of all sites.
  • Simplifies record keeping.
  • Time effective screening.
  • Patient education and motivation tool.
  • No expensive equipment needs - just a simple periodontal probe designed specifically for this use.
  • Helps market periodontal health within your practice.
  • Proper, consistent and documented use of PSR® shows that the dentist is evaluating a patient's periodontal status.

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Are there specific insurance codes for PSR®?

  • No. PSR® is designed to become a part of the regular oral exam.
  • There is no specific code to cover PSR® as a separate procedure.
  • PSR® scores do not correlate to any specific periodontal diagnoses, treatments or treatment codes.

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Who should perform PSR®?

  • General practitioners.
  • Some dentists may delegate to a dental hygienist where state regulations allow.
  • May have applications in all specialties, including some maintenance functions for periodontists.

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How long does it take to perform PSR®?

  • Studies demonstrate PSR® can take two to three minutes.
  • Individual time needed will vary.
  • Screening time will decrease as proficiency increases.
  • If the scores indicate, a comprehensive periodontal examination is necessary.

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How often should PSR be performed®?

  • As part of a routine adult oral exam.
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I already probe selected sites. Why should I use PSR®?

  • Proper, consistent and documented use of PSR® shows that the dentist is evaluating a patient's periodontal status.
  • While only six scores are recorded for PSR®, you still must probe all of the patient's teeth in six areas - the mid-facial, mesio-facial and disto-facial regions and the corresponding lingual-palatal regions.
  • It must be stressed that PSR® does not replace the need for a full periodontal examination and charting when warranted.

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Why does PSR® record by sextants?

  • Dividing the teeth into sextants helps facilitate screening by grouping together similar types of teeth.
  • PSR® is based on a similar screening system used internationally and recognized by the World Health Organization and the Federation Dentaire Internationale.

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How is the periodontal probe recommended for use compared to other probes?

  • Ball-tipped end helps avoid puncturing the epithelial attachment during probing.
  • A colored band, 3.5 to 5.5 mm from the probe tip, provides a quick, accurate scoring method. (Note: The ADA and AAP do not manufacture, approve or endorse any particular periodontal probe. Recommended instructions for use and sterilization should be followed with whichever instrument is selected for use with the PSR® procedure.)

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How does PSR® differ from a comprehensive examination?

  • PSR® is less time-consuming than a full exam. While each tooth is examined in all six areas, only the highest score is recorded for that sextant. That's six scores versus a possible 192 sites probed in a complete periodontal exam.
  • PSR® is a screening system for monitoring and documenting periodontal health. It does not replace a full periodontal examination when warranted (e.g., if a patient scores a Code 4 in one sextant or Code 3 in two or more sextants).

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What are the limitations of PSR®?

  • It is a screening-not a substitute for a comprehensive periodontal examination.
  • Patients in the maintenance phase of periodontal treatment require periodic comprehensive periodontal examinations.
  • Intended primarily for adults.

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Where can I get more information about PSR materials?

  • To order PSR® materials, call 800-947-4746 or order online from the ADA Catalog.
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Brought to you by The American Dental Association and The American Academy of Periodontology. The ADA and AAP's endorsement of PSR® does not establish a standard of care, nor is that the intent.

©2001 by The American Dental Association and The American Academy of Periodontology
®Periodontal Screening and Recording, PSR, the PSR logo are registered marks of the American Dental Association.