Objectives: Evaluating gingival thickness is an essential factor for esthetics, function, and the maintenance of soft tissue health around natural teeth and dental implants. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of visual inspection procedures used to identify gingival phenotype by clinicians with different expertise and level of experience.
Schlagwörter: experience, expertise, gingival phenotype, probe translucency, visual inspection
Method and materials: The gingival phenotypes of a total of 200 cases were identified as either thick or thin via visual assessment with clinical photographs by eight clinicians. One periodontist examined the gingival phenotype of all subjects based on the translucency of the periodontal probe through the gingival sulcus. The accuracy between these two methods was evaluated using percentile agreement and k statistics.
Results: The mean percentage of accurately identified cases was 75% irrespective of the clinician’s experience and expertise. Almost half of the thin phenotype cases were misclassified by clinicians. Inter-examiner agreement was generally fair to moderate and intra-examiner agreement was generally moderate.
Conclusion: Within the limits of this study, the present findings demonstrated that the visual inspection method misclassified the cases, especially thin gingival phenotype, compared to the probe translucency method. Therefore, there is a need to identify a universally accepted, accurate method and clear clinical definitions.