Local delivery of chemotherapeutic agents in periodontal therapy: Has its time arrived?*

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The concept of locally-delivering chemotherapeutic agents to the periodontal pocket as a method to treat periodontal disease has been studied for over 20 years. A number of locally-delivered chemotherapeutic agents in periodontal therapy are either currently available or under investigation. Clinical efficacy derives from sustained-release technology to maintain an effective concentration of drug within the periodontal pocket for a clinically relevant length of time. Studied drugs have mainly been antimicrobials, both antibiotics and antiseptics. Most agents have been tested as adjuncts to scaling and root planing; a few have been studied as stand-alone monotherapies. Collectively, the data indicate that the use of locally-delivered antimicrobials as adjuncts results in a significant increase in the reduction of probing depth compared with scaling and root planing alone. In other trials, results in reducing probing depth following the use of stand-alone locally-delivered antimicrobials have been equivalent to those of scaling and root planing over a specified time. This Symposium was organized to present the current state-of-the-art with regard to the use of locally-delivered antimicrobials in the treatment of periodontal disease. 5 experts in the field who have had considerable experience in studying locally-delivered antimicrobials presented data. These speakers reviewed the clinical findings regarding efficacy of 5 different antimicrobial agents. An ensuing panel discussion was to consider treatment recommendations for locally-delivered antimicrobials.

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