Perio Charting:Profitable or not?

Recently I was asked “Can we bill out perio charting to be more profitable in our hygiene department?”. My mind raced.  How do I answer this in just 1 easy answer?  Well, you can’t.

In this blog post, we will challenge our beliefs around time and profitability of perio charting.

I understand that most hygienist secretly admit that perio charting could be the least favorite part of what we do for patient’s dental care appointment.  While it’s not my favorite either, I find it to be one of the most profitable things I do for my patient’s health.  No silly!  Not dollars but saving lives.  Follow with me through this logic.


Who doesn’t have time to possibly save someone life?  We now know that patients that have an active periodontal infection have an elevated risk of cardiovascular event, stroke and diabetes.  Why would we not want to evaluate our patient’s gum health and let them in on this urgent discovery?  Thanks to The Bale Doneen Method, we now know there is actually a long list of “Red Flags” for cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Click here for the complete list of Red Flags.  And, gum disease is on the list!

So, imagine your patient has 4 Red Flags from the list above.

1 Abdominal Obesity

2 Elevated Blood Pressure

3 Anxiety

4 Gum Disease

Your patient’s medical history is exponential (4x4x4x4), meaning that they have a 256 times higher risk of a cardiovascular event.

But what if youcould treat their active periodontal infection? Removing the Gum Disease from the list?

1 Abdominal Obesity

2 Elevated Blood Pressure

3 Anxiety

4 Gum Disease

 Now, your patient’s medical history is exponential (3x3x3), meaning that they have a 27 times higher risk of a cardiovascular event.

Wow, what a difference you can make, just by perio charting and treating their active periodontal infection.

256 times down  to 27 times elevated risk of cardiovascular event!  That is 89% decrease in risk!

I believe, that is worthy of investing our time in a complete periodontal screening.  Agreed?


The CDC says that 47.2% of the adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.  If we know that to be true, could we believe that we should have at least that percentage of perio related services in our adult patients?  Well maybe not 47%, but a thriving hygiene department should have at least 35% perio related services.  That is D4341, D4342, D4910 Versus D1110.  Right?

One of the first things we at Inspired Hygiene do when we work with dental teams is to evaluate the hygiene departments perio percentage.  We typically find the majority have less that 15% perio and more often 5% or less.  Do you know where your perio percentage is?

When thinking of profitability, don’t think of this number as in a dollar measurement but as a measurement of how well we are diagnosing and treating perio disease in our patients.  When we elevate our systems and services, we elevate our profits.

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