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BACKGROUND: One of the sequelae of periodontal disease is pocket formation. The extent of therapy to eradicate the disease depends on the severity of the disease. Treatment can be achieved by either non-surgical or surgical therapy. Non-surgical therapy is normally instituted first and depending on outcome, a surgical therapy can be planned for.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of non-surgical periodontal therapy on pocket reduction in Ghanaian patients with moderate chronic periodontitis.
METHODS: The study was interventional, spanning a period of 5 months for each patient. Twenty (20) patients with pocket depth 5 – 7 mm between the ages of 30 – 81 years were treated using hand and ultrasonic instrumentation at the University of Ghana Dental School clinic (UGDS). Periodontal parameters measured include plaque scores, bleeding on probing (BOP) scores, probing pocket depth (PPD), probing attachment level (PAL) and gingival recession. Significance level was set at 0.05.
RESULTS: Patients with a mean PPD of 5.5mm at baseline was reduced to 3.5 mm at the end of the period and the mean PAL of 3.1mm reduced to 1.7 mm. The reductions were significant. Plaque scores and BOP scores were also significantly reduced. Recession recorded a mean increase which was insignificant
CONCLUSIONS: Probing pocket depth 5 – 7 mm can be reduced significantly by a mean of 2mm in Ghanaian patients with chronic periodontitis, using oral hygiene measures, scaling and root planning.