Impact of Molar Furcations on Photodynamic Therapy Outcomes: A 6-Month Split-Mouth Randomized Clinical Trial

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 11;17(11):4162. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114162.


The effectiveness of adjunctive photodynamic treatment (PDT) to non-surgical periodontal therapy has been shown to depend on initial periodontal status. As molar furcation involvement impairs healing response to non-surgical periodontal therapy, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of furcation involvement on PDT outcomes. Thirty-six patients suffering from severe chronic periodontitis were included in a 6-month split-mouth randomized clinical trial. PDT applications used the toluidine blue O and a light-emitting diode (LED) with a red spectrum. Repeated PDT applications were performed in addition to non-surgical periodontal treatment at baseline and at 3-months. Pocket probing depth (PPD), plaque index, bleeding on probing, and clinical attachment level were recorded at baseline, and again at 3- and 6-months. Furcation sites of molars were compared to other sites of molars and non-molars. Multilevel analysis showed no PDT effect in molar furcation sites while an additional significant reduction (odds ratio = 0.67) of pockets with PPD > 5 mm in other sites at 3-months was measured. PPD reduction appeared delayed in molar furcation sites treated with PDT. There is no additional apparent benefit to use PDT in molar furcation sites for the reduction of pockets with PPD > 5 mm contrary to other sites.

Trial registration: NCT02030470.

Keywords: molar furcation involvement; non-surgical; periodontal treatment effectiveness; photodynamic; residual periodontal pocket.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Periodontitis*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molar*
  • Periodontal Pocket
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data