Endoscopic vs. tactile evaluation of subgingival calculus

Joy B Osborn, Patricia A Lenton, Scott A. Lunos, Christine M. Blue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Endoscopic technology has been developed to facilitate imagery for use during diagnostic and therapeutic phases of periodontal care. The purpose of this study was to compare the level of subgingival calculus detection using a periodontal endoscope with that of conventional tactile explorer in periodontitis subjects.

METHODS: A convenience sample of 26 subjects with moderate periodontitis in at least 2 quadrants was recruited from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry to undergo quadrant scaling and root planing. One quadrant from each subject was randomized for tactile calculus detection alone and the other quadrant for tactile detection plus the Perioscope ™ (Perioscopy Inc., Oakland, Cali). A calculus index on a 0 to 3 score was performed at baseline and at 2 post-scaling and root planing visits. Sites where calculus was detected at visit 1 were retreated. T-tests were used to determine within-subject differences between Perioscope™ and tactile measures, and changes in measures between visits.

RESULTS: Significantly more calculus was detected using the Perioscope™ vs. tactile explorer for all 3 subject visits (p<0.005). Mean changes (reduction) in calculus detection from baseline to visit 1 were statistically significant for both the Perioscope™ and tactile quadrants (p<0.0001). However, further reductions in calculus detection from visit 1 to visit 2 was only significant for the Perioscope™ quadrant (p<0.025), indicating that this methodology was able to more precisely detect calculus at this visit.

CONCLUSION: It was concluded that the addition of a visual component to calculus detection via the Perioscope™ was most helpful in the re-evaluation phase of periodontal therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • calculus detection
  • dental calculus/diagnosis
  • periodontal endoscope
  • perioscope™ technology
  • residual calculus


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