Erythritol airpolishing in the non-surgical treatment of peri-implantitis: A randomized controlled trial

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2021 Jul;32(7):840-852. doi: 10.1111/clr.13757. Epub 2021 May 3.


Objectives: To compare erythritol air polishing with piezoelectric ultrasonic scaling in the non-surgical treatment of peri-implantitis.

Material and methods: Eighty patients (n = 139 implants) with peri-implantitis (probing pocket depth (PPD) ≥5 mm, marginal bone loss (MBL) ≥2 mm as compared to bone level at implant placement, bleeding, and/or suppuration on probing (BoP/SoP)) were randomly allocated to air polishing or ultrasonic treatment. The primary outcome was mean BoP (%) at 3 months after therapy (T3). Secondary outcomes were mean SoP (%), plaque score (Plq) (%), PPD (mm), MBL (mm), full mouth periodontal scores (FMPS) (%), levels of 8 classical periodontal pathogens, and treatment pain/discomfort (Visual Analog Scale, VAS). Patients who were considered successful at T3 were additionally assessed at 6, 9, and 12 months. Differences between both groups were analyzed using multilevel statistics.

Results: Three months after therapy, no significant difference in mean BoP (%) between the air polishing and ultrasonic therapy was found (crude analysis β (95% CI) -0.037 (-0.147; 0.073), p = .380). Neither secondary outcomes SoP (%), Plq (%), PPD (mm), MBL (mm), FMPS (%), and periodontal pathogens showed significant differences. Treatment pain/discomfort was low in both groups (VAS score airpolishing group 2.1 (±1.9), ultrasonic 2.6 (±1.9); p = .222). All successfully treated patients at T3 (18.4%) were still considered successful at 12-month follow-up.

Conclusions: Erythritol air polishing seems as effective as piezoelectric ultrasonic scaling in the non-surgical treatment of peri-implantitis, in terms of clinical, radiographical, and microbiological parameters. However, neither of the proposed therapies effectively resolved peri-implantitis. Hence, the majority of patients required further surgical treatment.

Keywords: dental implant; intervention study; peri-implantitis; randomized controlled trial; ultrasonic therapy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Dental Implants*
  • Erythritol
  • Humans
  • Peri-Implantitis* / therapy
  • Periodontal Index
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dental Implants
  • Erythritol