In order to complement non-surgical therapy in periodontitis, there are multiple options of antimicrobials, such as metronidazole, chlorhexidine, minocycline, doxycycline and tetracycline, which can be locally delivered into the mucosa. These drugs are used in periodontal pockets and can inhibit or eliminate periodontopathogenic microorganisms as well as modulate the inflammatory response of tissues. However, limited data are available concerning the relationship between effect, efficacy and clinical status of the periodontium. This review aims to evaluate the effect and the efficacy of five types of local drug delivery systems in clinical parameters of periodontology. Researched papers using MEDLINE via PubMed, and LILACS databases related to five types of local drug delivery systems as chlorhexidine gluconate, doxycycline hyclate, metronidazole gel, minocycline ointment and tetracycline fibers, were reviewed aiming to address the mechanism of action and the evidence of clinical effectiveness of adjunctive use of these antimicrobials following surgical and/or non-surgical therapies. Inclusion criteria defined that articles must be randomized controlled trials performed in humans and published between 1996 and 2014. The adjunctive use of local drug delivery systems with controlled release properties may provide a defined, but limited, beneficial response on periodontal pockets. Furthermore, local drug delivery as an active treatment or maintenance therapy depends on clinical findings, responses to treatment described in the literature, desired clinical outcomes, and patients’ dental and medical histories, including their past usage of antimicrobials.
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