Instrument Selection and Application Used to Probe Dental Implants.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants


oregon; portland; Analysis of Variance; Dental Implants; Dental Instruments; Humans; Mandible; Maxilla; Periodontal Index; Periodontal Pocket; Periodontics


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to survey clinicians' choice of peri-implant instrument selection and the application used to probe dental implants as well as to evaluate peri-implant probing force and pressure applied as compared to that reported in current literature.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 48 clinicians (16 periodontists/periodontal residents, 16 restorative dentists and 16 hygienists) participated in the study. A questionnaire to determine the frequency and method of probing dental implants was provided and subject to the Chi-square test. Each participant was given a choice of three periodontal probes (Marquis, UNC15, Plastic) to use on the typodont and probing force was recorded blindly. Probing force and pressure data were analyzed with ANOVA among subject groups as well as probe types per site; where statistical differences (p < .05) were detected, Tukey's posthoc test was applied.

RESULTS: The questionnaire resulted in a variety of answers although the majority demonstrated an agreement on probing implants in everyday practice. There was no significant difference among provider groups in regard to instrument selection, probing forces and pressure in both maxilla and mandible although the mean probing forces and pressures in all provider groups were higher than the suggested value reported in the literature.

CONCLUSION: This study indicates that there are variations among clinical provider groups with regard to peri-implant probe instrument type used and forces applied, though these are not statistically significant. Probe tip diameter should be considered to avoid BOP false positives when probing dental implants especially as the forces generally used by the clinicians may be higher than advised.