Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy and reproducibility of experienced and inexperienced examiners using 3 automated periodontal probes (Florida Pocket Probe, Florida Disk Probe, Peri Probe) in comparison with 3 conventional periodontal probes (Marquis, Williams and EN-15 probes. Test blocks of aluminium had 30 holes of diameter 1.10 mm and depths ranging from 2.75 to 10.0 mm. machined with a tolerance of ±0.01 mm. 8 experienced examiners and 8 inexperienced examiners were selected to perform duplicate measurements on the blocks over 6 visits using each of the, 6 probes. 1 automated and 1 conventional probe were used at each examination. The % accuracy and reproducibility for each of the duplicate measurements was calculated and analysed using Friedman 2-way analysis of variance and the Wilcoxon matched pairs test. On average, all probes showed high reproducibility, with the Florida Disk Probe, the Florida Pocket Probe and the Williams probe ranked best and the other 3 probes were less reproducible. On average, all probes showed a high degree of accuracy, automated probes were ranked best and were significantly better than conventional probes. Experience had little effect on reproducibility. with only the Peri Probe showing significant differences at the 5% level between the groups. Experience appeared to be more important for accuracy, as experienced examiners were more accurate than inexperienced examiners, with significant differences at the 5% level for the EN-15. Florida Disk Probe and Peri Probe. However, inexperienced examiners were significantly more accurate using the Williams probe. This in vitro study has shown that automated probes offer increased accuracy over conventional probes and the Florida Pocket and disk probes compare well with conventional probes for reproducibility.
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