Scaling and granulation tissue removal in periodontal therapy

J Clin Periodontol. 1985 May;12(5):374-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1985.tb00928.x.


The present clinical trial was performed to study whether subgingival scaling is a method of therapy which is equally effective as "access" flaps in reducing gingivitis and probing depths and in improving probing attachment levels. The study was also designed to assess whether granulation tissue removal is a determining factor for proper healing in the treatment of periodontal disease. 15 patients with advanced periodontal disease were included in the study. Each patient had at least 4 sites in each quadrant of the jaws with probing depths exceeding 6 mm. A baseline examination was performed to assess the following parameters: the oral hygiene status, the gingival conditions, the probing pocket depths and the probing attachment levels. In addition, in each quadrant, 3 approximal sites were selected for analysis of the subgingival microbiota. All of these sites showed signs of gingivitis. One site had a probing depth of less than 4 mm, another a probing depth between 4 and 6 mm and the third site had a probing depth exceeding 6 mm. The subgingival bacterial samples were studied by dark-field microscopy and the % of spirochetes and motile rods was assessed. By random selection the 4 jaw quadrants in each patient were treated for periodontal disease by the use of (1) the modified Widman flap procedure, (2) the modified Kirkland flap procedure or by (3) nonsurgical scaling and root planing. In all, 20 quadrants were treated with each of the 3 procedures. After the termination of active periodontal treatment, all patients were recalled for professional tooth cleaning once every 2 weeks during a 12-week period. Subsequently, they were recalled for prophylaxis every 3 months. The patients were examined 6 and 12 months after treatment using the same parameters as used at baseline. The data from the examinations demonstrated that subgingival scaling is an effective measure in the treatment of periodontal disease. Both in terms of average gingivitis resolution and average probing depth reduction, non-surgical therapy appeared to be equally effective as a surgical approach to treatment. It was also observed, however, that following non-surgical treatment, a larger number of sites with pockets exceeding 6 mm remained than following surgical therapy. Most of these deep pockets in non-surgically treated quadrants bled on probing to the base of the pocket. In addition, the subgingival microbiota of such sites were found to harbor more than 20% spirochetes and motile rods.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dental Prophylaxis*
  • Dental Scaling*
  • Epithelial Attachment / pathology
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Gingivitis / therapy
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Granulation Tissue / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Diseases / surgery
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Periodontal Pocket / surgery
  • Periodontics / instrumentation
  • Random Allocation
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Tooth Root / surgery*