U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Cover of Dental Scaling and Root Planing for Periodontal Health: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-effectiveness, and Guidelines

Dental Scaling and Root Planing for Periodontal Health: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-effectiveness, and Guidelines

Rapid Response Report: Summary with Critical Appraisal

Periodontitis is an infection and inflammation of the soft tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, caused by an accumulation of bacterial plaque and the ensuing inflammatory response. According to the Canadian Dental Association, periodontal disease is common, affecting up to 70% of Canadians at some point in their lifetimes. If left untreated, periodontitis can progress to connective tissue destruction and alveolar bone loss, causing teeth to fall out. Therefore, prevention of periodontitis is very important, and preventative measures provided by oral health care professionals include offering oral hygiene instructions (encouraging patients to brush teeth and floss regularly), and performing routine dental cleaning. Dental cleaning includes scaling, which is the mechanical removal of plaque and calculus from the teeth around the gum line. For patients who develop periodontitis, a more extensive procedure called scaling and root planing (SRP) is performed. This involves mechanical debridement of plaque and calculus down to the root of the affected teeth, and is considered the “gold standard” initial treatment for periodontitis. However, the optimal frequency of regular preventative scaling or therapeutic SRP, and the usual length of time (or number of units; one unit is defined as 15 minutes of service) to perform each procedure, is unclear. The purpose of this report is to review the evidence regarding the clinical and cost-effectiveness of scaling with or without root planing, as well as evidence-based guidelines for their use.

Disclaimer: The Rapid Response Service is an information service for those involved in planning and providing health care in Canada. Rapid responses are based on a limited literature search and are not comprehensive, systematic reviews. The intent is to provide a list of sources of the best evidence on the topic that the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) could identify using all reasonable efforts within the time allowed. Rapid responses should be considered along with other types of information and health care considerations. The information included in this response is not intended to replace professional medical advice, nor should it be construed as a recommendation for or against the use of a particular health technology. Readers are also cautioned that a lack of good quality evidence does not necessarily mean a lack of effectiveness particularly in the case of new and emerging health technologies, for which little information can be found, but which may in future prove to be effective. While CADTH has taken care in the preparation of the report to ensure that its contents are accurate, complete and up to date, CADTH does not make any guarantee to that effect. CADTH is not liable for any loss or damages resulting from use of the information in the report.

Copyright © 2016 Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Copyright: This report contains CADTH copyright material and may contain material in which a third party owns copyright. This report may be used for the purposes of research or private study only. It may not be copied, posted on a web site, redistributed by email or stored on an electronic system without the prior written permission of CADTH or applicable copyright owner.

Links: This report may contain links to other information available on the websites of third parties on the Internet. CADTH does not have control over the content of such sites. Use of third party sites is governed by the owners’ own terms and conditions.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND), a copy of which is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Bookshelf ID: NBK401538PMID: 27929624


Other titles in this collection

Related information

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...