A longitudinal study comparing scaling, osseous surgery, and modified Widman procedures: results after 5 years

J Periodontol. 2001 Dec;72(12):1675-84. doi: 10.1902/jop.2001.72.12.1675.


Background: Scaling and root planing, osseous surgery, and modified Widman procedures are effective methods for treating periodontal diseases. Studies have been carried out to determine if these procedures are more effective than others in reducing clinical probing depths, while maintaining clinical attachment levels. The purpose of this report is to present 5-year results from a longitudinal study comparing scaling and root planing (SRP), osseous surgery (OS), and modified Widman (MW) therapies. The study has been completed for 12 years.

Methods: Sixteen adult patients with moderate to advanced periodontal disease were treated with initial scaling and oral hygiene procedures in a private practice. Posthygiene data were used to compare changes in plaque and gingival indices, probing depth (PD), clinical attachment levels (CAL), and recession. Frequency distributions were used to compare changes at individual sites. The first published report was from baseline to one year. This follow-up report is from baseline through 5 years.

Results: At 5 years, there were significant decreases in gingival and plaque scores. For the 3 procedures, there were significant decreases in baseline 4 to 6 mm PD (P<0.0001); however, there were no differences between the methods. Similar findings were noted for PD initially greater than 7 mm. At 5 years, OS had the greatest number of 1 to 3 mm sites (332 sites, 73.2%), while MW had the fewest number of 4 to 6 mm PD (98 sites, 21.8%). SRP had the fewest 7 mm and greater sites (15 sites, 3.4%). At 5 years, CAL loss for 1 to 3 mm PD was statistically significant for the 3 procedures. There were slight gains in CAL for 4 to 6 mm probing depths. These gains were not significant. Similar findings were seen for CAL for probing depths greater than 7 mm. OS had the greatest number of sites losing more than 2 mm of CAL (64 sites), followed by SRP (21 sites) and MW (34 sites), respectively.

Conclusions: This 5-year clinical trial demonstrates that with good patient maintenance excellent clinical results can be achieved with various methods of treatment. Within the limits of this study, SRP, OS, and MW were effective at reducing probing depths with slight changes in clinical attachment levels.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / surgery
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Scaling*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Recession / therapy
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Oral Surgical Procedures*
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / therapy
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontitis / surgery
  • Periodontitis / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Outcome