The impact of a modified electronic probe tip design on patient perception of discomfort during periodontal probing using standardized probing force: A randomized controlled trial

Peter L. Harrison, Sandra Stuhr, Luciana M. Shaddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: This study evaluated pain associated with electronic probing comparing two commercially available probe tip designs using standardized force. Material and Methods: Twenty adult patients with slight-moderate chronic periodontitis received periodontal probing using controlled-force electronic probe at 2 visits. In visit 1, a random arch was probed with either a ball-end (0.6 mm diameter, 408 kPa; Test) or straight (0.45 mm diameter, 726 kPa; Control) probe tip. The opposing arch was then probed using the other probe tip. Discomfort associated with each probing episode was recorded using visual analogue scale (VAS). 7 days later, tip assignments were alternated from visit 1 and VAS re-scored. VAS scores were compared by probe tip, arches and visits. Results: Both tips provided similar VAS scores (median 13.5 for ball-end and 14 for straight, p =.3713). However, the straight tip was associated with decreased VAS scores in the maxilla (p =.01). Overall, VAS values did not differ by arch or study visit. Individual VAS scores showed high levels of correlation between study visits and between tips used (R2 =.86 and 0.64, respectively, p <.0001). Conclusions: Both probing approaches were associated with low levels of pain on probing. The straight tip may be perceived as more comfortable in the maxilla.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-940
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from Florida Probe Corporation, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • pain perception
  • periodontitis disease
  • visual analogue scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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