DEPPA assessment milestone

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Simplyhealth Professionals announces DEPPA reaches 100,000th assessment milestone in the UK

Simplyhealth Professionals and the University of Birmingham spinout Oral Health Innovations Ltd have announced today (27th October) that 100,000 assessments have been carried out by the Denplan PreViser Patient Assessment oral health assessment tool (DEPPA).

DEPPA is an evidence-based online individual risk assessment tool which helps patients understand their current oral health and future disease risk. It assesses an individual patient's medical history, dental history, lifestyle, and their clinical status, and provides feedback on current health and future disease risk directly to patients via a personalised report.

In May 2017, Simplyhealth Professionals also announced the addition of Young DEPPA (YDEPPA) to bring the benefits of comprehensive online patient assessment to young patients and their parents or carers for the first time. The primary benefit of YDEPPA, like its adult counterpart, is to support communication with young patients about their oral health.

The reports use a traffic light colour-code system of red, amber and green to indicate what is going well and what the patient needs to improve with the help of their dental care provider.

Henry Clover, Director of Dental Policy at Simplyhealth Professionals said: “There is evidence to support that personalised biofeedback, delivered using reports such as DEPPA for patients, is more likely to trigger the emotional response required in order that behaviour change can occur than traditional methods. Improved oral health can only be achieved through a strong partnership between dentist and patient.”

Recent research has shown that patients who receive an individualised communication about risk as part of a routine dental consultation took advice on periodontal disease more seriously, and felt better able to follow it, than those who receiving a routine consultation alone (p<0.05). [1]

Moreover, research presented earlier this year at the International Association for Dental Research conference showed that sharing the report with patients resulted in reduced levels of bacteria in their mouths and gum inflammation, and better daily oral hygiene routines. [2]

Iain Chapple, Professor of Periodontology and Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Birmingham, commented: “As routine dental consultations incorporate risk assessments for future disease, it is vital that we understand how to communicate this risk to patients, so they can distinguish between generalised advice and individual risk.”

DEPPA and Young DEPPA are available free of charge to all Denplan Excel certified member dentists. Non-Excel certified member dentists can also benefit for just £100 per month (inc VAT) for up to two dentists in a practice or for £150 per month for three or four dentists.
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[1]. Asimakopoulou et al. The effects of providing periodontal disease risk information on psychological outcomes – a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2015 ;42:350-5

[2]. Asimakopoulou et al. The effects of Goal-setting, Planning and Self-monitoring (GPS) on Behavioural and Periodontal Outcomes. A Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), 2017 IADR abstract 0371.