BACKGROUND: Plastic probes have increased flexibility and a smaller tip diameter compared to traditional metal probes. The increased flexion when inserting into the sulcus may distort the accuracy of the probing depth measurement. In addition, the smaller diameter tip is able to penetrate deeper into the junctional epithelium and connective tissue apparatus resulting in an elevated measurement. The aim of this study is to compare the accuracy of plastic periodontal probe measurements to measurements with a metal probe around healthy dental implants.
METHODS: Patients receiving routine maintenance at the University of Colorado graduate periodontal department, with fully restored dental implants were recruited for this study. Patients were selected prior to their appointment according to their electronic health records and current radiographs. Inclusion criteria patients 18 years of age and older, implants that had been placed and loaded with the final restoration for at least six months, and good oral hygiene. Forty-four implants were evaluated. Two calibrated examiners completed all measurements with plastic and metal probes on six sites per implant. The starting probe was alternated between the plastic and metal. The probing depths were recorded by dental hygienist who worked at that time or surgical dental assistant who was available at the time of examination. All of the data was collected and analyzed using linear mixed model with random intercepts for examiner and implant.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the accuracy of measurements on the interproximal and the flat surfaces of the implant when comparing metal versus plastic probes (p=0.6483). Probing depth measurements from the plastic probes were greater than from metal probes at five of the six locations. While measurements from metal probes were greater than the plastic probes at only two locations. However, this was not statistically significant. Collapsed across location, measurements from metal probes were 0.05 units greater than measurements from plastic probes (95% CI 0.01 units less to 0.11 units greater). However, this difference was not statistically significant (p=0.1190).
DISCUSSION: This study failed to prove any statistically significant difference in accuracy between the metal and plastic probes. However, the shape of the final restoration does play a role in the accuracy and placement of a traditional metal probe. The plastic probe may adapt more easily around these restorations due to its smaller diameter tip, it may also penetrate deeper into the connective tissue resulting in a deeper measurement. The UNC15 metal probe has long been the standard of care for research applications due to the high degree of accuracy with its markings. The plastic probe, similar to the Marque metal probe, has markings every 3 mm allowing for more discrepancy between clinicians.
CONCLUSION: Within the limitations of this study, the plastic probe appeared to be as accurate as the traditional metal probe when probing around the dental implants.
|Commitee:||Del La Rosa, Laurice, Lehn, Manti, Powell, Charles A.|
|School:||University of Colorado at Denver|
|Department:||Health Information Technology|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Dentistry|
|Keywords:||Failure, Implant, Pockets, Probes|
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