Periodontal dressings: should they be used in non-surgical cases?

gum disease, scale and polish

Applying periodontal dressings following surgery were introduced in the 1920s. More recently they have been used following non-surgical scaling and root planing (SRP). The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of periodontal dressings following non-surgical periodontal mechanical therapy.


Searches were conducted in the Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Oral Health Group Trials Register databases and Google Scholar. This was supplemented by hand searches in periodontal-related journals. Randomised controlled trials, cohort, case series and prospective/retrospective trials examining the effect of placement periodontal dressing during non-surgical periodontal mechanical therapy were considered. Studies were assessed for quality. Two reviewers independently selected and assessed the studies.


  • 3 randomised controlled trials involving a total of 90 patients were included.
  • 2 studies were split mouth 1 parallel design.
  • 2 were considered at moderate risk of bias and 1 at low risk
  • The studies could not be combined but all 3 demonstrated improvements in clinical outcomes eg. clinical attachment level and reduction of probing pocket depth.


The authors concluded: –

The dearth of available evidence does not allow us to draw clear conclusions. However, within the limitation of this review, placement of periodontal dressing right after non-surgical mechanical therapy could be beneficial in improving over- all short-term clinical outcomes, although more controlled studies are still needed to validate this finding.


This review searched 3 major databases and relevant periodontal journals and only initially identified 14 potentially relevant articles. However, only English language studies were considered so it is possible that some additional studies may be available. Only 3 small RCTs could be included and the data could not be combined so there is little evidence currently available to decide whether periodontal dressings for non-surgical periodontal treatment is effective. More, larger high quality studies are needed to assess the clinical benefits of this approach.


Monje A, Kramp A, Criado E, Suárez-López Del Amo F, Garaicoa-Pazmiño C, Gargallo-Albiol J, Wang HL. Effect of periodontal dressing on non-surgical periodontal treatment outcomes: a systematic review. Int J Dent Hyg. 2015 Feb 26. doi: 10.1111/idh.12130. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25721470.

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