Locally delivered antimicrobials for the treatment of chronic periodontitis

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The basic treatment of chronic periodontitis is a mechanical debridement of periodontal pockets by scaling and root planing (S/RP) in combination with efficient plaque control. Locally delivered antiseptics (LDA) have been proposed to practitioners and, while subgingival irrigation of antiseptics is still used in clinical practice, the introduction in our therapy of a slow release and subgingival delivery of tetracycline has changed the rationale from a mechanical treatment towards a combined therapy for full mouth/sites disinfection. Various antibiotics, antiseptics and resorbable carriers are now proposed with similar targets to arrest disease progression. In chronic periodontitis, LDA cannot be used routinely in combination with S/RP, because of the limited clinical benefit, even if an increased percentage of deep sites may show an improvement. Prospective multicenter studies considering risk factors for disease progression have to be designed to identify patients who may benefit the most from LDA. For non-responding sites or recurrent pockets, the controversies are limited, because a combined S/RP and LDA may avoid the need for surgery. However, the patient cost/benefit ratio needs to be estimated as well as adverse effects in particular antibiotics.

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