The effect of retained subgingival calculus on healing after flap surgery

J Periodontol. 1988 Mar;59(3):170-5. doi: 10.1902/jop.1988.59.3.170.


This study investigated the effects of retained subgingival calculus on healing of the periodontium at ten, 30 and 120 days. Eight beagle dogs between eight and ten years old with naturally occurring periodontal disease were used. One dog that died before any procedures were done provided information on the extent of gingival inflammation prior to surgery. Quadrants from seven dogs meeting the criteria for inclusion were selected, and each quadrant was randomly designated as either an instrumented or noninstrumented, surgical site. The gingival index for the selected sites was recorded along with clinical probing measurements. Instrumented sites were treated by reflection of a facial mucoperiosteal flap followed by thorough root planing. Non instrumented sites were treated by a facial mucoperiosteal flap alone. All flaps were returned to their preoperative position and secured with interrupted sutures. No antibiotics were given. Meticulous daily plaque control was begun the day after surgery and continued until sacrifice. There was a statistically significant reduction in gingival index scores for the 30- and 120-day instrumented sites and for the 120-day noninstrumented sites. Mean probing depths for the instrumented group showed a significant reduction at 30 and 120 days and for the noninstrumented group at 120 days after surgery. Forty percent of the noninstrumented roots and 10% of the instrumented roots displayed subgingival calculus. At all evaluation periods and in both instrumented and noninstrumented roots, inflammation was more intense when calculus was present; the difference was significant at ten days with the instrumented and at ten and 30 days with the noninstrumented specimens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Calculus / physiopathology*
  • Dental Plaque / physiopathology
  • Dental Scaling
  • Dogs
  • Gingiva
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Periodontium / surgery*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Root / pathology
  • Tooth Root / surgery*
  • Wound Healing*