As periodontists, we were always called upon to know how to treat our patients in the most appropriate way by recognizing the importance of proper prevention, diagnosis, management and health care of periodontal tissues.
The evaluation and stratification of risk class is to be performed in the same way in patients with implants. Risk factors such as plaque accumulation, smoking, or other systemic health problems such as auto-immune diseases [7, 8] and the use of some drugs which determine gingival hyperplasia are common risk factors for both the periodontal and implant treatment. In addition, eligible patients for implant therapy can greatly benefit from a periodontal treatment that is aimed at supra and subgingival plaque control, especially if this regimen is established prior to implant placement, so as to achieve good levels of oral hygiene that are essentials for a successful outcome of the following implant rehabilitation.
3.2. The Role of a Supportive Periodontal Treatment
The approach that includes supportive care is even more important in patients undergoing implant-prosthetic therapy because recent evidence indicates that these patients would mostly benefit from proper management and maintenance of periodontal tissues . At the same time, most patients, generally, have no concept of the importance of a proper management demanded by an implant placement. This class of patients is rarely informed about the real duration of implants and the relative supported prostheses and is sometimes not well or constantly followed and included in the correct maintenance protocols aimed at obtaining adequate plaque control in the long term.
A 30-year follow-up study has shown that systematic maintenance of plaque control can prevent the loss of periodontal and bone tissue in patients that are involved in periodontal supportive therapy, regardless of their age .
This study also demonstrated that patients with an average age of 60 to 80 years, included in a constant periodontal supportive protocol (both professional and home maintenance), over 30 years of follow-up, lose an average of 0.7 teeth per subject . These results clearly show that those individuals encouraged to maintain high standards of oral hygiene that have been included in specific supportive care regimens at regular intervals, showed a much lower incidence of both periodontal disease as well as a lower percentage of tooth loss.
It has been widely shown that patients undergoing implant treatment included in maintenance programmes benefit more than those who are not included, or who do not follow consistently this programme [6, 7]. Although peri-implantitis and implant loss are the main eventualities to be taken into account in this type of treatment, there is the possibility that there are also other minor complications such as marginal bone loss and peri-implant mucositis, all pathologies that must be prevented as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the real status of peri-implant disease and the complications of the soft peri-implant tissues may not be well estimated. This can be due to the differences in diagnosis between the different operator during the examination of the peri-implant tissues or due to the lack in the precision of the peri-implant probing or differences in the peri-implant bone loss evaluation at X-ray . Furthermore, the implant treatment prognosis is often reported as the percentage of survival, in which it was up to 95% of reported cases [6, 7]; however, the term “survival” takes into account only the implant permanence and does not adequately describe the total health status of the peri-implant tissues of support. The term “survival” includes not only the state of “peri-implant mucositis”, which is a reversible lesion only circumscribed to soft tissues but also includes the state of “peri-implantitis”, which, instead, is a lesion of bone tissue that, if not properly treated, can lead to the complete loss of the implant [9-11]. These observations can be reflected in the literature by analyzing the wide ranges of values reported for the prevalence of peri-implant mucositis (8% - 46%) and peri-implantitis lesions (up to 25%) [10-13]. An explanation of the diverse and extensive range recorded between the different studies [11, 12] can be explained by variances in the definition and proper diagnosis of these two clinical conditions different from each other but which have similar clinical symptoms.
It is therefore predicted that the frequency of peri-implant lesions and disease will surely increase over the years due to the number of implants used and consequently a major number of studies with more long-term follow-up and the implant survival rate will also change according to the age in which patients undergo these procedures. The same type of surgical procedures should also become even more less invasive. But what does this mean for the increased use of implants in our patients? How then should we define the success of implant therapy?
Without doubt, the development of implantology was a great help and a step forward for prosthetic rehabilitation and allowed oral rehabilitation types never conceived before. The possibility of use of implants provided benefits especially for patients who presented removable prosthetic solutions that gave unsatisfactory aesthetic and functional results in both the medium and long term period. After the advent of implantology, today the main problem could be a possible inappropriate approach and abuse of such a solution, including cases in which a conservative approach could be the best form of therapy.
The main problem is that sometimes implant solutions, which are suggested by clinical and industry experts, are advertised as fast, simple and without risk and as “miraculous” solution for replacing “hopeless” teeth. Until now, no system has proven to be more durable than a natural tooth [14, 15]. Thus, any non-extractive treatment that aims primarily at dental element preservation should be considered before tooth substitution with implant placement [16, 17].
During the last few years new and interesting advances have been developed in periodontal treatment such as regenerative therapy, growth factors and host immuno-modulation treatment [17, 18], all tools useful for tooth maintenance [18-20]. In the rush to adopt implant therapy as the most rapid and effective, these new possibilities of therapeutic approach must not be ignored, because their importance both for periodontology and implantology will definitely increase over the years.
The objective is to select those patients who would benefit from this type of approach compared to everyone else and that a strict stratification of patient risk can be crucial in the decision to approach the patients with implant procedures. Rigorous risk modelling can be useful in such decisions. Different possibilities exist because some patients may be classified to be at such a low risk of tooth loss that annual preventative care for them is useless or at least with a preventable economic cost [20, 21].
It was demonstrated that a prophylaxis specifically directed at primary and tertiary prevention of periodontal and peri-implant disease in the adult together with caries prevention, dental malocclusions and therapies of impacted tooth are one of the most used support services in the world by different national health systems [22-24]. Dental visits have an annual cost of about $ 500 million, which accounts for 76% of the total cost of dental services in the US .
The detailed results of the 11th European workshop on Periodontology specific recommended that an appropriate diagnosis alongside assessment of patient-level factors (risk factor and attitudes) should determine the proper selection of the most appropriate type of professional preventive care  The new methods of approach in medicine, such as the stratification of the risk assessment or a personalized diagnosis approach in patients who need therapy are aimed at achieving better results for both patients, who only receive appropriate care and diagnostic investigations, as well as for health systems, because care resources are more wisely used.
Following these new intriguing therapeutic approaches, periodontology, in a medical space increasingly dominated by a seemingly new “implantology mind” is called upon to clearly define its role within the scope of the dental field. The good news is that this discipline, at present, has become a highly specialized and technological branch, through an approach that is gradually becoming more and more biomolecular and genomic. Today, the periodontist has the correct and sufficient knowledge to decide how to best treat the patient.