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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

ADVERTORIAL: PREVENTION ONE The patient and the dental professional sit at a specially designed table where both work on improving the patient’s oral health. Dental hygienist and therapist Theodora Little (left) calculates her patient’s P1 score, which can then be compared to past and future scores. ule in the past, so she understands how difficult it can be to carry out thorough oral hygiene and answer any ques- tions the patient may have. Like many of her peers, she was left feeling empty at the end of each day and questioned whether she was really helping and making a difference to her patients’ lives. Since 2015, she has been fortunate to work in a clinic with hourly appointments. Last year, she went a step further. Depending on the patient, the length of time between appointments varies. Some patients require more frequent appointments, such as every three to four months, whereas others may see her every six months. Now, as soon as Theo- dora welcomes a new patient, she prefers to start with P1–the development of a personalised oral health strategy. The result is that after the first session, patients usually request a recall after one, four or six weeks. How does that happen? Professional cleaning, coaching and home care In combination with individual coaching and dental care, Theodora has started using the scoring system. The score guides her patient through a multiple-choice questionnaire, beginning with oral hygiene aids and questions about how often they are used. It continues with the frequency of visits to a dentist and/or oral hygienist. The second part includes a health and lifestyle questionnaire and the third part includes the oral examination, which quantifies their plaque and bleed- ing index. At the end of these sections, the patient receives a score as a percentage. The patient and the coach look at the data together and discuss where and how they can improve the patient’s score. At the end of the appointment, the patient receives a general score–the P1 score, which can then be compared to past and future scores to show the overall improvement in a patient’s health. The score helps her measure the patient’s individual oral health and gives her a modern instrument to communicate failures and suggest improvements easily. Theodora is convinced that the score works. “This method motivates my patients to carry out effective oral hygiene at home, because they want an improvement in their score at our next appointment,” she explains. “Even if a score only shows a small improvement, the patient feels happy and empowered by his or her own efforts. It really gets them involved. And I will smile, too, and be proud of them.” The positive informa- tion from the P1 score encourages the patient and the dental hygienist to progress further and put forth a greater effort on improving the patient’s general health. It helps that every patient wants to see Theodora smile. The next step in prophylaxis Liestal is a small, charming Swiss city close to Basel, with 14,000 inhabitants. In the centre of the city is Rathaus Street where three dental practices compete for patients from Mon- day morning until Friday afternoon. One of them is the newly designed practice “Die Zahnärzte” (German for “The Dentists”), part of a practice group with ten clinics in the Basel area. Open september 2017 41

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