The effects of subgingival calculus on the clinical outcomes of locally-delivered controlled-release doxycycline compared to scaling and root planing

J Clin Periodontol. 2002 Feb;29(2):87-91. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.2002.290201.x.


Background/aim: The effect of subgingival calculus on the clinical outcomes of the local delivery of antimicrobials is unknown. This study examines the clinical outcomes of treatment with locally delivered controlled-release doxycycline (DH) or scaling and root planing (SRP) in subsets of adult periodontitis patients with known baseline levels of subgingival calculus.

Methods: The data examined were obtained from 393 patients who participated in 2 multi-center trials. All patients had baseline subgingival calculus levels assessed and were then treated at baseline and month 4 with either DH or SRP. Clinical attachment levels (CAL), pocket depth (PD) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were assessed at baseline and months 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.

Results: Treatment with either DH or SRP resulted in significant statistical and clinical improvements in CAL, PD and BOP. These clinical outcomes were equivalent regardless of the extent of subgingival calculus present at baseline.

Conclusions: The results indicate that the primary clinical effects of these therapies are the result of a disruption and reduction of the subgingival plaque and not the effect of the removal of subgingival calculus and contaminated cementum.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dental Calculus / physiopathology*
  • Dental Scaling*
  • Doxycycline / administration & dosage*
  • Doxycycline / analogs & derivatives
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / therapy
  • Periodontal Pocket / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Pocket / therapy
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy
  • Periodontitis / therapy*
  • Root Planing*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Doxycycline