Diabetes Screening in Dental Practice Using the Find-Risk Questionnaire - A Practice-based Pilot Study.

Research paper by Dirk D Ziebolz, Inga I Bauwe, Jana J Schmidt, Tanja T Kottmann, Sven S Rinke, Gerhard G Schmalz

Indexed on: 08 Jul '19Published on: 11 Apr '19Published in: Oral health & preventive dentistry


This dental practice-based pilot study aimed to investigate the efficacy of diabetes mellitus (DM) screening based on questionnaire replies. 116 patients were screened in a private dental practice when visiting the dentist for a regular check-up. The Find-Risk (FR) questionnaire was used for diabetes screening. FR-positive (FR+) patients were referred to a diabetologist for further diagnostics (blood glucose, HbA1c); FR-negative patients (FR-) did not receive a diabetological examination. Furthermore, dental findings (DMFT) were obtained and periodontal condition was classified into no, mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, based upon periodontal pocket depth and clinical attachment loss. Sensitivity and specificity of the FR questionnaire and a modified FR questionnaire (additional inquiry if severe periodontitis had been ever diagnosed) were determined in a statistical model. 102 patients with a mean age of 56.31 years were included. Seven patients had known DM. A total of 36 patients were FR+, including the seven patients with known DM. Only 16 of the 29 participants (55%) followed the recommendation to see the diabetologist. Nine of these 16 patients showed conspicuous blood glucose findings. Both with and without modification of the FR questionnaire, a sensitivity of 100% was achieved. With the modified FR questionnaire, a higher specificity was shown in a statistical model compared to the FR questionnaire without modification (80% vs 69.5%). FR-based DM screening in dental practice is possible and could help to identify patients with (pre-) diabetes. However, these results must be validated in a large patient cohort.