The efficacy of subgingival calculus removal with endoscopy-aided scaling and root planing: A study on multirooted teeth

Robert M. Michaud, John Schoolfield, James T. Mellonig, Brian L. Mealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The dental endoscope was developed to facilitate visualization of the subgingival environment as an aid in diagnosis and non-surgical root debridement. The purpose of this study was to determine whether endoscopy-aided scaling and root planing (SRP) resulted in a greater reduction of residual calculus compared to SRP alone in multirooted teeth. Methods: Twenty-four patients were enrolled and contributed 35 tooth pairs (70 teeth in total). Each tooth per pair was randomly assigned to receive endoscopy-aided SRP (test) or SRP alone (control). Both teeth were extracted immediately after treatment, washed with water, and stained with methylene blue. The percentage of residual calculus was determined via stereomicroscopy and digital image software by a single masked examiner. Results: Overall, there was 1.16% (P = 0.097) less residual calculus at test versus control sites. At interproximal surfaces, test roots had 2.63% less residual calculus than control roots (P = 0.003), whereas test roots had slightly more residual calculus than controls at buccal/lingual surfaces (0.36%; P = 0.652). There were no statistically significant differences in residual calculus between groups at deeper probing depths or at sites with deep furcation invasions. Only at shallower interproximal sites with probing depths ≤6 mm was significantly less residual calculus seen in roots treated with endoscopy (P = 0.020). Treatment time decreased significantly as operator experience increased; however, no significant improvement in residual calculus levels was noted with greater experience. Conclusion: Within the confines of this study, the use of the endoscope as an adjunct to traditional SRP provided no significant improvement in calculus removal in multirooted molar teeth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2238-2245
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Dental scaling
  • Endoscopy
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Root planing
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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