MyPerio Health App Educates, Engages Patients

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report March 2022, Volume 56, Issue 3

The app is an education tool that engages patients by allowing them to discover the extent of their periodontitis.

The MyPerioHealth app is an educational, patient-facing app designed to help dental professionals quickly determine and review the stages and grades of periodontal disease with their patients at the point of care. This first-of-its-kind portable app complements manual staging and grading by streamlining data collection and automating calculations to provide an assessment and then automatically output a patient’s exact periodontitis stage and grade.

Developed by oral health care company OraPharma, the MyPerioHealth app is based on the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Staging and Grading Periodontitis Guidelines. Featuring an interactive and easy-to-follow workflow, the app features an educational video on periodontal disease and engages a patient by having them input their own oral health risk factors and clinical parameters. By responding to a series of short questions, a patient and their dental care provider can obtain a wealth of important information regarding the patient’s periodontal stage and grade, which is key for treatment planning and disease management.

“We have been using the MyPerioHealth app since it launched in October 2021,” says Christine Wojdula, RDH, of Plymouth Meeting Family Dental, a practice outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that provides a wide range of restorative, preventive, and cosmetic services. “One of the main benefits of the app is that, for the first time, patients are actively discovering the extent of their disease.”

By participating in the process, the patients enhance their understanding of their periodontal disease, increasing dialogue and collaboration between the patient and dental staff and resulting in greater acceptance of potential treatment options. “Up until now, patients have been passive players in their dental health,” Wojdula says. “With the app, we are no longer simply telling the patient they have gum disease. Instead, the patient and clinician are working together to determine the patient’s oral health status, which facilitates greater communication between the patient and dental team.”

During the initial assessment, patients are asked to input basic information. Then, with the help of the dentist or hygienist, they also input information regarding their clinical parameters, including clinical attachment loss, radiographic bone loss, and pocket depth.

“Each page includes a short description of the clinical information being requested,” Wojdula says. “These explanations increase the patient’s understanding of their gum disease and facilitate more informed questions and discussions regarding their disease. Using the app at maintenance visits also allows the patient to monitor their progress and maintain ownership of their disease. No special training is required to use the app, and the learning curve is short [because of] the app’s intuitive nature.”

The AAP guidelines and the MyPerioHealth app are designed only for use with patients who have completed the normal diagnostic process of periodontal evaluation and radiographs and have an established diagnosis of periodontitis. The app provides a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s exact periodontitis stage and grade, after a diagnosis of periodontitis is made. Based on the assessment of the patient’s current stage and grade of disease, the dental professional can then recommend possible treatment options.

“Our patients’ response to being active in the discovery of their disease has been highly favorable,” Wojdula says. “We have seen a noticeable increase in the acceptance of treatment and maintenance recommendations and in adherence with in-home care.”

The MyPerioHealth app is free and widely accessible. Designed for use on a tablet or cell phone, it is available on both iOS and Android platforms.

“The app helps to make the staging and grading process more understandable to the patient and has made my job a lot easier,” Wojdula says. “More importantly, it helps patients understand what is going on in their mouth and why we are always trying to achieve ideal oral health.”