I recently had the pleasure to read RDH magazine as presented to me by my hygienist, whom I consider to be among the best of hygienists. I could not help but to read a letter in your Readers` Forum from Carolyn Lancaster [May 1995] where she comments about the March 1995 issue of RDH relating to the subject: "Eliminating Pockets No Longer the Goal of Periodontal Therapy." I do not know where Ms. Lancaster obtained her information (no references given). However, her conclusions (and perhaps the message given in the March RDH) is blatantly and absolutely incorrect. That she should conclude from that article that the goal of periodontic therapy is no longer pocket elimination is totally and unequivocally inaccurate.
There are multiple reasons for periodontal therapy based upon the diagnosis and data presented. To say that pocket elimination is not a goal of periodontics is like saying that the control of heart disease is no longer the objective of the cardiologist. There are numerous goals in the treatment of periodontal disease and most certainly one of these is pocket elimination. How else do you expect the patient to be able to control the process if he/she does not have access for bacterial control. Indeed, not all patients should have periodontal surgery. However, to make such a blanket statement is totally inaccurate and reflects on the lack of understanding of the entire process of periodontal therapy. Remember, too, we are now in an age of regenerative periodontics. Does Mrs. Lancaster believe that this means we are not striving for pocket elimination as a goal? By the way, how many hours away is the oral surgeon?
H. Michael Hersh, DMD
Mission Viejo, California
EDITOR`S NOTE: Trisha O`Hehir, in her March 1995 Periodontics column wrote, "For many years pocket elimination was the goal ... Pocket elimination has given way to stopping disease progression." Ms. O`Hehir based her comments on the proceedings of the 1989 World Workshop in Periodontics.