Local delivery of antimicrobials: a new era in the treatment of adult periodontitis

Compend Contin Educ Dent. 1999;20(4 Suppl):13-8; quiz 34-5.


This article discusses the principles, products, and techniques currently available for local delivery of antimicrobials in the treatment of adult periodontitis. Four principles provide the scientific basis for the treatment of periodontitis: it is caused by bacteria; it cannot be cured, but it can be controlled; clinicians cannot remove all the plaque and calculus; and periodontitis reinfects. This article stresses how the local delivery of antimicrobials can help the clinician achieve the goals of arresting the disease and maintaining the disease in the arrested or controlled state. Rationales for reevaluating the treated patient and treatment options are presented. Local-delivery systems are reviewed, stressing those available in the United States. Pharmacokinetics, multicenter randomized trials, and techniques are presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Cellulose / therapeutic use
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Doxycycline / analogs & derivatives*
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Tetracycline / therapeutic use
  • United States


  • Actisite
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Cellulose
  • Tetracycline
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Doxycycline
  • Chlorhexidine