Air polishing devices are used as an alternative to traditional instrumentation of the root surface. The objective of the systematic review was to analyse patient perception, that is pain and discomfort during treatment with air polishing devices in periodontal therapy.


The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane library were screened for studies published through 18th November 2013. Patient perception served as primary outcome.


Of the 1266 abstracts screened, nine studies reporting data on patient perception using a visual analogue scale or a patient interview were included in the analysis. Different air polishing powders consisting of sodium bicarbonate, glycine or erythritol were used. Reported discomfort of non-surgical periodontal therapy was consistently equal or lower when air polishing powders consisting of glycine or erythritol were applied compared with root surface instrumentation using hand instruments or ultrasonic devices.


Air polishing with powders consisting of glycine seems to be associated with less discomfort during non-surgical periodontal therapy, that is supra- and subgingival air polishing.

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