Subjective pain perception during calculus detection with use of a periodontal endoscope

Kjersta Poppe, Christine Blue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Periodontal endoscopes are relatively new to the dental field. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of pain reported by subjects with periodontal disease after experiencing the use of a periodontal endoscope compared with the use of a periodontal probe during calculus detection.

METHODS: A total of 30 subjects with at least 4 sites of 5 to 8 mm pocket depths were treated with scaling and root planing therapy in a split-mouth design. The 2 quadrants were randomly assigned to either S/RP with tactile determination of calculus using an 11/12 explorer, or S/RP treatment with endoscopic detection of calculus. Each subject's pain experience was determined by via a Heft-Parker Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), which measured perceived pain level during periodontal probing and during subgingival visualization via endoscopy. Since subjects expressing some level of dental anxiety generally express increased levels of pain, a pre-treatment survey was also given to determine each subject's level of dental anxiety in order to eliminate dental anxiety as a confounding factor in determining the expressed level of pain.

RESULTS: The level of perceived pain was significantly lower with the periodontal endoscope versus the probe (mean VAS 33.0 mm versus 60.2 mm, p<0.0001). Subjects who indicated some level of dental anxiety did express increased pain levels, but these levels were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Subjects did not find the periodontal endoscope to elicit significant anxiety or pain during subgingival visualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • dental pain
  • endoscopy
  • fear/anxiety
  • periodontitis
  • root planning
  • scaling

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Subjective pain perception during calculus detection with use of a periodontal endoscope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this