Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of polishing after scaling and root planing on supragingival plaque, calculus formation, and gingival bleeding.
Materials and Methods: The study was designed as a split-mouth randomised clinical trial. Seventy-six patients were submitted to supragingival scaling on the six mandibular anterior teeth with manual curettes until a smooth surface was achieved. Subsequently, quadrants were randomly selected to be polished (test) or not (control) with a rubber cup and pumice. One, two and three weeks following treatment, a blinded examiner evaluated the visible plaque index, gingival bleeding index and the presence of supragingival calculus on the lingual tooth surfaces.
Results: The results showed that unpolished surfaces exhibited higher mean percentages of visible plaque in the third week. No statistically significant differences were observed between unpolished and polished sites related to gingival bleeding. Calculus formation was higher on unpolished sites than on polished sites at 2 and 3 weeks. Dental polishing after supragingival scaling contributed to reducing plaque and calculus formation.
Conclusions: Polishing exerts an inhibitory effect on plaque and calculus formation.
Keywords: dental calculus, dental plaque, dental polishing, dental scaling