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The Perio Percentage KPI . . . how does your dental practice stack up?

Issue 7

Many dentists and team members think they have a strong perio program in their practice. However, after evaluating the numbers, it becomes obvious that many hygiene programs are not as strong as they think.

Many dentists and team members think they have a strong perio program in their practice. However, after evaluating the numbers, it becomes obvious that many hygiene programs are not as strong as they think.

There is no arguing that periodontal disease is prevalent in our adult patients. It does not matter where we live, how much money we have, or how well educated we are … periodontal disease is affecting a large amount of the patients in every practice.

One of the biggest hygiene opportunities within the dental practice is the opportunity to improve on the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. Having a tangible way to measure your team’s effectiveness with treatment of periodontal disease lies within one important indicator – the periodontal percentage.

The periodontal percentage is the best Key Performance Indicator to truly understand how well your team is addressing periodontal disease. The periodontal percentage provides a look at how many of your patients are treated for periodontal disease vs. receiving a prophy.

Why is this number so important?

  • The perio statistics can be a good indicator if your team is coding procedures properly. We still see offices where they are alternating the D4910 code with the D1110 code because they think that it is helping their patient. In reality, it is not only hurting your patient, but it is also insurance fraud. If you code properly, your patients can maximize their benefits properly without putting your office in harm’s way.

  • Hygienists by nature are givers and want to help their patients in any way they can. One way they feel they can help is by often underdiagnosing and saving the patient some money. When the appointment comes, they will treat them like a perio patient but not bill for it. Hygienists, you are putting your and your doctor’s license and reputation at risk if you do this. If the patient transfers to another office or needs to be referred to a specialist and proper diagnosing of the periodontal disease is not documented and billed, then trust is broken and the office could be liable for the potential outcome.

  • In 2012, the CDC released a report stating that half of American adults suffer from periodontal disease … and this number does not include “gingivitis,” as many earlier statistics did. The rate of periodontal disease went up to 70% in patients over the age of 65.1


So how do you assess your office and evaluate the effectiveness of your perio program? When you are looking at numbers in your office, one of the top five is the perio production compared to overall hygiene production. We are going to dive in a little deeper and take a closer look at how to assess your practice and see in which category you fit.

Click here to learn how to calculate the periodontal percentage.

Within your practice management software, run a report that will show you the total count for each of these procedure codes. There are several ways to calculate the periodontal percentage, but here is the best calculation:

SRP Quadrant (D4341) + SRP Localized (D4342) + Periodontal Maintenance (D4910) + Prophy (1110) = A

SRP Quadrant (D4341) + SRP Localized (D4342) + Periodontal Maintenance (D4910) = B

Periodontal Percentage = B/A

The periodontal percentage looks at your definitive non-surgical periodontal therapy codes measured against the number of adult prophys performed in your practice. Once you have your periodontal percentage, let’s see where you stack up.

Is your percentage above 60%?

If so, you and your team are delivering a very high level of non-surgical periodontal care to your patients. You are effective at assessing, educating, and enrolling your patients in necessary treatment.

Areas to focus on: Continue to focus on your periodontal therapy program and attend continuing education events to ensure you are always providing the best of care to your patients.

Click here to check out this webinar on how to removepain from your practice and your life.

Is your percentage between 40 – 60%?

You are doing better than the average practice. However, there are several opportunities that still exist.

Areas to focus on: Review your periodontal therapy program and focus on effective and consistent communication with your patients, as well as between all providers. Ensure everyone is speaking the same language to increase treatment acceptance.

Is your periodontal percentage below 40%?

Your periodontal program needs immediate attention. Most of your patients are receiving prophys and there is a good chance you have a high amount of untreated periodontal disease in your patient base. A low periodontal percentage is one indicator that it is time to evaluate the quality of diagnostic care occurring in the hygiene chair.

The first step to increase your periodontal program is assessing the patient and making a clear diagnosis. A strong and consistent assessment will guide you to a periodontal diagnosis for your patients.

Click here to keep reading about why the periodontal percentage should be the first place you focus your attention during periodontal assessment.

No matter your periodontal percentage, the first place you want to focus your attention on is the Periodontal Assessment. The dental hygiene team must complete a comprehensive periodontal assessment on every adult patient, with a full documentation in the patient record annually.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), the comprehensive periodontal assessment should include: A review of the patient’s current healthy status, history of disease, and risk characteristics. Dental hygienists must then record the probing depths, recession, mobility, furcation, bleeding and exudate.2

Using the comprehensive periodontal assessment, the dental team can develop a logical plan of treatment to eliminate the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. The AAP’s website (www.perio.org) provides numerous resources to help support a strong periodontal therapy program.

Click here to checkout 9 reason to consider continuing dental education courses.

In addition, the team should attend a continuing education course focused solely on the development and implementation of a non-surgical periodontal therapy program. Your periodontal therapy program does not need to be elaborate. In fact, the best and most effective plans are created for simplicity and easily implemented into any office.

About Dayna Johnson

Dayna Johnson, founder of Rae Dental Management, has helped dental offices around the country transition down the path to paperless. Dayna channels her passion for going chartless to help fulfill her clients' goals and increase their profitability. 

With more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry, Dayna’s passion for efficient, consistent, and secure systems is grounded in personal understanding and professional expertise. With a direct, pragmatic approach, Dayna helps clients develop standardized protocols for all practice management systems.

Dayna’s expertise helped her earn the prestigious Spirit Award for Independent Certified Dentrix Trainers in 2011. Additionally, she authors the national Dentrix Office Managers blog.

About Heidi Arndt

Heidi Arndt RDH, BSDH, has been working in the dental field for more than 18 years. Her experience stretches from working as a treatment coordinator, dental assistant, and practice manager before graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene.

Heidi spent the early part of her career working in private practice and at the Mayo Clinic (Department of Dental Specialties). In 2002, Heidi began working for American Dental Partners, where she was a dental hygiene mentor/coach and was later promoted to Director, Dental Hygiene Development. Heidi managed over $140 million in annual revenue, and led all dental hygiene development activities for American Dental Partners affiliated dental groups (more than 250 practices and 1,000 dental hygienists across the entire United States).  Heidi created and implemented a mentoring and dental hygiene development curriculum, that improved patient care, created accountability increased hygiene profits exponentially year after year.

In 2011, Heidi launched Enhanced Hygiene. She is dedicated to helping dental groups support the development and enhance the value of their dental hygiene team. Heidi’s coaching and training programs have helped hundreds of practices achieve their long sought after goals – improving leadership, teamwork, organizational systems, patient care, patient service, verbal skills, and the bottom line.

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