Objective: Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) is a new adjunctive therapy for chronic periodontitis. The study hypothesis was that aPDT applied as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) would improve 12-week clinical outcomes in the treatment of chronic adult periodontitis, compared to SRP alone.
Methods: 34 patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis were recruited into a randomized, examiner-blinded, parallel-group study with two equal cohorts (SRP alone and SRP + aPDT). Both cohorts were treated with SRP at all probing sites ≥ 5 mm that exhibited bleeding on probing (BOP). In the intervention group a single aPDT treatment was deployed following SRP.
Results: Combination therapy (aPDT + SRP) produced significant gain in clinical attachment level (CAL) (0.53 mm, p=0.0017) and probing depth reductions (PD) (0.73 mm, p=0.0002) when averaged across all regions of the mouth, versus the SRP-only arm at 3 months. Treatment with adjunctive aPDT increased by 8-fold the number of patients experiencing >1.5 mm gain in CAL, versus the control arm (5.9% in the SRP arm, 47.1% in the aPDT arm, p=0.022) at 3 months.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that adjunctive aPDT provided significant gain in CAL and PD reduction, compared to SRP alone in the treatment of chronic adult periodontitis.