Su-Fang Wang


This study evaluated reproducibility of periodontal probing by conventional manual and automated force-controlled electronic probes. A total of 1206 sites (6 sites per tooth including maxillary and mandibular incisor/canine, premolar, and molar sites) in 15 patients with history of moderate or advanced chronic periodontal disease were examined. Probings included probing pocket depths (PD), as well as probing attachment levels (PAL) from a reference stent. Measurements were recorded to the nearest 0.5 mm with both methods. Patients were examined twice, 7 to 10 days apart. At each visit, all sites were probed first with the conventional probe and then with the electronic probe. Reproducibility of duplicate measurements of PD for PD ≤ 3 mm by manual probing was 59.1% for exact agreement and 98.6% within ± 1.0 mm variation. For the electronic probe, corresponding figures were 41.3% and 91.5%, respectively. For PAL at sites with PD ≤ 3 mm, reproducibility of manual probing was 52.6% for exact match and 97.5% within ±1.0 mm, and for the electronic probe 35.9% and 88.5%, respectively. Reproducibility of PD measurements at sites with PD > 3 mm, was 33.0% for exact match and 96.4% within ±1.0 mm for manual probing and, correspondingly, 31.7% and 85.9% using the electronic probe. Reproducibility of PAL measurements at sites with PD > 3 mm was 39.8% (exact match) and 94.1% (within ±1.0 mm) for manual probing and 31.2% and 82.7%, respectively, for the electronic probe. Reproducibility was consistently higher for anterior than for posterior sites and, for some comparisons, higher in the maxilla than in the mandible. These differences were smaller for manual probing than for the electronic probe. Time needed to complete the examination was longer for manual than for electronic probing. The results show that reproducibility of the automated force-controlled electronic probe fails to offer advantages over the conventional manual probe.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Ulf ME Wikesjö

Second Advisor

Grenith J. Zimmerman

Third Advisor

Knut A. Selvig

Fourth Advisor

Thorarinn J. Sigurdsson

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Periodontics -- instrumentation; Reproducibility of Results



Page Count

2 vi; 48

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives