The Use of a Disclosing Agent During Resective Periodontal Surgery for Improved Removal of Biofilm

Marco Montevecchi, Vittorio Checchi, Maria Rosaria Gatto, Sascha Klein, Luigi Checchi*
Department of Periodontology and Implantology, School of Dentistry, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Italy

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© Montevecchi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Periodontology and Implantology, School of Dentistry, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna. Via S. Vitale 59, 40125 Bologna, Italy; Tel: +39/0512080115; Fax: +39/0514391718; E-mail:


A total removal of the bacterial deposits is one of the main challenges of periodontal therapy. A surgical approach is sometimes required in order to allow a correct access to the areas not thoroughly reached during the initial therapy. The present study focuses on the surgical scaling effectiveness in root deposits removal; the potential support of a disclosing agent during this procedure is also evaluated. Forty surgical periodontal patients were randomly divided between surgeries where the operator was informed about a final examination of the residual root deposits and surgeries where the operator was not informed. Straight after scaling procedures a supervisor recorded the O’Leary Plaque Index of the exposed roots by mean of a disclosing agent and the percentage of teeth with residual biofilm. After the stained deposits removal, a second chromatic examination was performed and new data were collected. Mann-Whitney U-test and Wilcoxon test for paired samples were used for comparisons respectively between the two surgery groups and the first and the second chromatic examination; one-sided p-value was set at 0.05. At first examination no significant differences between the two groups were observed regarding Plaque Index (p=0.24) and percentages of teeth with residual biofilm (p=0.07). The 100% removal of roots deposits was never achieved during the study but a significant reduction of 80% of root deposits was observed between first and second examination (p=0.0001). Since root deposits removal during periodontal surgery resulted always suboptimal, the use of a disclosing agent during this procedure could be a useful and practical aid.

Keywords: Disclosing agent, biofilm, periodontal surgery, scaling and root planing.