In-vitro accuracy and reproducibility evaluation of probing depth measurements of selected periodontal probes.
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Saudi Dent J
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AIM: The purpose of the present in vitro study was to measure the accuracy and reproducibility of three periodontal probes. To eliminate environment- or examiner-related probing errors, two aluminum blocks with predrilled holes of varying depths were examined by participants who had been trained in probing before the study. This methodology improved the likelihood that any probing errors identified were generated by the probes themselves. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three probes, Williams 14 W (Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC, UK), Chapple UB-CF-15 (Implantium, Shrewsbury, UK), and Vivacare TPS (Ivoclar Vivadent, Enderby, UK), were randomly distributed to 23 participants (9 males and 14 females; mean age: 31.35 years). Participants measured 30 holes in two aluminum blocks, average 20 days, SD = 341.05. For each hole, the mean measured depth was calculated for each participant and compared to the true depth. Intra- and inter-examiner accuracy and reproducibility for each of the duplicate measurements were calculated. Data were analyzed by paired-samples t-test with the SPSS 18 software package (IBM Portsmouth, UK). A p-value <0.05 indicated statistical significance. Tables were constructed from the data. RESULTS: When used by participants, the Williams 14 W probe was reproducible but not necessarily accurate; Vivacare TPS was neither accurate nor reproducible; and Chapple UBCF-15 was both accurate and reproducible. CONCLUSION: Depth measurements with the Chapple UB-CF-15 probe were more accurate and reproducible compared to measurements with the Vivacare TPS and Williams 14 W probes. This in vitro model may be useful for intra-examiner calibration or clinician training prior to the clinical evaluation of patients or in longitudinal studies involving periodontal evaluation.