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The efficacy of subgingival air polishing and subgingival debridement in periodontal support therapy: a meta-analysis



To assess whether there is sufficient evidence of a difference in efficacy between subgingival air polishing (SubAP) and subgingival debridement as periodontal support treatment. The systematic review protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database under no. CRD42020213042.


A comprehensive search was conducted using eight online databases to develop straightforward clinical questions and search strategies, from their inception to 27 January 2023. The references of identified reports were also retrieved for inclusion in the analysis. The risk-of-bias of the included studies was evaluated using the Revised Cochrane Risk-of-Bias tool (RoB 2). A meta-analysis was performed on five clinical indicators using the Stata 16 software.


Twelve randomized controlled trials were ultimately included, and most included studies had varying degrees of risk-of-bias. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that there was no significant difference between SubAP and subgingival scaling in terms of improving probing depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL), plaque index (PLI), and bleeding on probing% (BOP%). The results of the visual analogue scale score analysis indicated that SubAP produced less discomfort than did subgingival scaling.


SubAP can provide better treatment comfort than subgingival debridement. There was no significant difference in the efficacy of the two modalities in improving PD, CAL, and BOP% in supportive periodontal therapy.


Currently, evidence for assessing the difference in the efficacy of SubAP and subgingival debridement in improving the PLI is insufficient, and further high-quality clinical studies are needed.

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Fig. 2: Risk of bias summary.
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The authors' institutions supported this study. The industry provided no funding for this study.

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Authors and Affiliations



ZN developed the research protocol, conducted literature retrieval, inclusion, exclusion, and data analysis, and wrote the manuscript. ZY provided guidance for the conduct of the research and the writing of the manuscript. JZ participated in the selection of the literature. XY provided guidance for detailed research methods, and helped the literature screening and inclusion work when the opinions of the literature screeners differed. RT provided funding for this study.

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Correspondence to Zuke Ya.

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Nong, Z., Ya, Z., Zheng, J. et al. The efficacy of subgingival air polishing and subgingival debridement in periodontal support therapy: a meta-analysis. Evid Based Dent 24, 142–143 (2023).

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