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Reasons for performing the study. Equine periodontal disease is a common, often painful dental condition that may lead to premature tooth loss if left untreated [1,2,3]. At present little research has been done comparing different treatment methods for the condition to assist clinicians in making educated treatment decisions. Objectives. To compare the effectiveness of four commonly used treatment options for periodontal disease (on top of routine dental treatment and equilibration) to assess their merit in reducing periodontal pocket depth. Study Design. Retrospective case series. Methods. Four commonly used treatment options were compared: Removing feed material and disinfecting the periodontal pocket with dilute chlorhexidine and rinsing the mouth with chlorhexidine based mouthwash (‘Hexarinse’), ‘cleaned and disinfected’ (CD); CD plus the addition of metronidazole antibiotics into the periodontal pockets (M); M plus the addition of a polyvinyl siloxane temporary filling over the diastema (PVS); and diastema burring to widen the gap between the teeth, then PVS (DB). Pocket depth measurements were compared before and after treatment at treatment intervals between two and six months. Results. Treatment groups CD, M and PVS showed statistically significant reductions in pocket depth between visits. Mean reduction was greatest in the DB group, but this was not statistically significant. Additional analysis to compare effectiveness revealed a strong confounding effect of initial pocket depth. After taking this into account, there was some evidence that DB was associated with smaller improvements than the other treatments, however this result was based on a small sample size. Among the other treatments, no statistically significant differences in effectiveness were found. Conclusion. This study has shown that treatment methods CD, M and PVS are associated with statistically significant reductions in pocket depth. Due to the confounding effect of initial pocket depth, no clear differences in effectiveness were found between treatment methods.
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