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Comparative Study
, 10 (1), 22-36

Use of Chlorhexidine as a Plaque Control Measure Following Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Comparative Study

Use of Chlorhexidine as a Plaque Control Measure Following Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

E Westfelt et al. J Clin Periodontol.

Abstract

Chlorhexidine mouth rinsing was compared with regularly performed professional tooth cleaning as a plaque control measure during healing following periodontal surgery. 14 patients were selected for the study. A Baseline examination included assessment of oral hygiene status, gingival condition, probing depth and attachment level. In each patient, scaling and root planing was carried out in conjunction with the modified Widman flap procedure including recontouring of alveolar bone irregularities in 2 jaw quadrants. The same procedures without osseous surgery were performed in contralateral jaw quadrants. 7 patients rinsed their mouth with a solution of 0.2% chlorhexidine digluconate twice a day, 2 min each time, for the first 6 months after therapy (healing phase). During the same period the remaining 7 patients were recalled every 2 weeks for professional tooth cleaning ad modum Axelsson & Lindhe (1974). Following reexamination after 6 months, all 14 patients were placed on a maintenance care program which included mechanical prophylaxis once every 3 months for 18 months (maintenance phase). Reexaminations were performed 6, 12 and 24 months after completion of initial therapy. The results revealed that professional tooth cleaning was somewhat more effective as a plaque control measure during healing following surgery than chlorhexidine mouth rinsing. At the end of the healing phase (1) there was a higher frequency of sites with pockets deeper than 4 mm in the patients who rinsed with chlorhexidine, (2) less gain of attachment occurred following chlorhexidine rinsing in pockets with an initial probing depth of greater than 4 mm, and (3) attachment loss in initially shallow pockets was somewhat more pronounced in the patients who rinsed with chlorhexidine. The differences in the effect of the 2 methods of plaque control, however, were small and in most respects diminished in the course of the maintenance phase. It was concluded that mouth rinsing with chlorhexidine is a proper alternative to plaque control during healing following periodontal surgery.

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