Level of patient comfort and measurement reproducibility of three different probes: A cross-sectional study

Daisy Flores-Rodrigo, Jonathan Meza-Mauricio, Belen Retamal-Valdes, Frank Mayta-Tovalino, Gerardo Mendoza-Azpur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the comfort level and reproducibility assessment of the probing pocket depth obtained with three different probes. Methods: A cross-sectional clinical study was conducted in accordance with the STROBE standards. Three different types of periodontal probes were selected: (1) University of North Carolina (UNC) probe, (2) World health organization (WHO) probe and (3) UNC12 COLORVUE probe. Three experienced and calibrated periodontists performed periodontal clinical assessments (probing depth) and pain assessment with the visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: The clinical evaluations were carried out in 13 volunteers who attended the dental clinic of the Universidad Científica del Sur (Lima, Peru). A total of 2106 periodontal clinical measurements were obtained (702 measurements per examiner). Each examiner evaluated 234 sites for each type of probe. When patient comfort values during the periodontal evaluation performed with the 3 types of probes were compared, the patients evaluated with the UNC12 COLORVUE probe perceived less pain with a mean value of 0.61, followed by the WHO probe and the UNC probe. When evaluating the clinical measurements, the UNC probe was observed to obtain the greatest mean depth on probing 1.4 + 0.5 mm, while with the UNC12 Colorvue probe, the values obtained were 1.1 + 0.3 mm, and with the WHO probe, 1.2 + 0.4 mm. Conclusions: Based on the periodontal probe used, experience of the examiner and the patient, we can conclude that the UNC12 Colorvue probe was the instrument that promoted the greatest comfort or the slightest response to pain, followed by the WHO probe. However, the use of the WHO probe resulted in obtaining the lowest reproducibility among depths on probing. The UNC probe produced the highest response to pain in the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Dental Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022


  • periodontal probes
  • probing pocket depth
  • reproducibility


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