Basic periodontal examination

Refer to Section 2 of the full guidance

  • Carry out periodontal screening of all dentate patients at every routine recall examination using the Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE).
  • Assign a risk level to inform future treatment and recall.
  • For patients with a BPE score of 4 in any sextant or with a BPE score of 3 in more than one sextant, carry out a full periodontal examination and record the findings in the patient’s clinical notes. For patients with a BPE score of 3 in one sextant only, carry out periodontal charting of that sextant.

Patients receiving supportive periodontal therapy require a full periodontal examination on an annual basis.

The Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE), developed by the British Society of Periodontology in 1986 and revised in 2011, is a simple and rapid screening tool for the assessment of adult patients. A modified BPE is used to screen children and adolescents. The BPE does not itself provide a diagnosis of periodontal disease but indicates what further assessment and periodontal treatment, if any, the patient requires.

The mouth is split into sextants, with the highest BPE score for each sextant recorded.

Basic periodontal examination scoring codes

 The BPE score for each sextant gives an indication of the care required. In addition, individual factors unique to each patient may influence the treatment required.

Interpretation of BPE scores