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Volume 34 , Issue 1
January/February 2019

Pages 115–123


Instrument Selection and Application Used to Probe Dental Implants

Joohyun (Jenna) Cha, DDS, MS/Chandur Wadhwani, BDS, MSD/Mansen Wang, PhD, MS/Steven D. Hokett, DDS, MCR/James Katancik, DDS, PhD


PMID: 30521649
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.6950

Purpose: The purpose of this study was 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 compared with that reported in current literature. Materials and Methods: Forty-eight 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, UNC-15, plastic) to use on the typodont, and the probing force was recorded blindly. The probing force and pressure data were analyzed with analysis of variance (ANOVA) among subject groups as well as probe types per site; where statistical differences (P < .05) were detected, Tukey’s post hoc 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 the 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 indicated 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 bleeding on probing false positives when probing dental implants, especially as the forces generally used by the clinicians may be higher than advised.


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