April 19, 2021

Prof. Dr. Per Axelsson 1933 - 2019

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A Pioneer for Dental Prevention -
Prof. Dr. Per Axelsson 1933 - 2019

Professor in Preventive Dentistry at The Sahlgrenska Akademi, University of Göteborg and Axelsson Oral HealthPromotion, Stockholm.
Education and Experience
D.D.S. at Karolinska Medical University,Stockholm
Part time Private practice (Owner) specialized on Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry (Ratio 6 dental hygienists per dentist).
Postgraduate studies at Department of Periodontology, University of Göteborg (Chairman: Professor Jan Lindhe)
Chairman Department of Preventive Dentistry, Public Dental Health, County of Värmland.
Started The Dental Hygiene School, University of Karlstad (teaching periodontology, cariology, oral microbiology and preventive dentistry)
Ph.D . at Department of Periodontology, University of Göteborg.
1978 Visiting Scientist at Department of Oral Biology (Chairman: Professor Roy Page) and Department of Community Dentistry (Chairman: Professor Peter Milgram).
1983 Associate Professor in Periodontology at Department of Periodontology, University of Göteborg.
1992 Visiting Professor at the Universities of Pretoria and Cape town, South Africa.
From 1993 Professor in Preventive Dentistry at University of Göteborg
From 1997 Promotor of “Per Axelsson Oral Health Promotion Center” in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Organized “The First (1988) and Second (1990) International Conference on Preventive Dentistry and Epidemiology” in Karlstad in collaboration with WHO and FDI.
International research projects in Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Poland, Egypt and South Africa.
Hundreds of International courses and lectures.

Source: University of Gothenburg

Per Axelsson's Successes

Caries in DFS (decayed, filled surfaces) in 12 year old children in Värmland

Due to his tremendous knowledge in prevention of caries and periodontal diseases, as well as based on his success in implementing dental prevention in the county of Värmland in Sweden, as well as to the 5 books (Quintessence, Chicago )about preventive dentistry, Per Axelsson became a world renowned authority on preventive and community dentistry.

Under his leadership, in Värmland (Sweden) over the last 25 years large implementation of preventive programs has led to an increase in the percentage of caries free three year old children from 30% to 97%, while reducing caries of 12 year olds from an average of 25 DFS (decayed filled surface of teeth) to less than 1 (0.6) DFS.

Left side: Patients seeing a dental hygienist 4x/year showed only a mean of 0.2 new cavities after 6 years, while the control group seeing a dentist once a year had 14 new DFS (decayed, filled surfaces of teeth. Right side: The same happened for periodontal disease. The test group remained unchanged (healthy), while the control group had lost in average 1.2 mm of periodontal attachment.

In 1981 Axelsson and Lindhe published a paper, showing that with seeing a dental hygienist 4 times a year could maintain teeth and periodontium healthy over a period of 6 years, as compared to a control group of patients that visited their dentist once a year for a control.

Source:Axelsson P and Lindhe J: Effectof controlled oral hygiene procedures on caries and periodontal disease in adults. Results after 6 years.
J ClinPeriodontol 8: 239-248, 1981

CPTIN (Community Periodontal Treatment Index Needs) 1972 appoximately 40% of patients had Score 1 Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and 0 % had Score 2 - 4 = periodontal disese. After 30 years the situation was completely different: more than 90 % were scored as periodontally healthy.

In a long term study Axelsson could show that patients that initially had signs of inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and periodontal disease, after treatment remained healthy with virually no gingivitis and no periodontal disease if there were seen 4x/year by a dental hygienist.

Source:Axelsson P, Nyström B, Lindhe  J. The long term effect of a plaque control program on tooth mortality, caries and periodontal disease in adults.

J Clin Periopdontol 31: 749-757, 2004

Showing in a well documented study that with periodic regular professional health care, patients could be maintained stable, made Per Axelsson the "Father of Professional Health Care".

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