Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 25 (2005), No. 3 27. May 2005
The aim of this study was to investigate postsurgical periodontal probe penetration by using clinical information and histometric data. Thirty-eight three-walled defects were created in four dogs, then maintained for 3 months. Subsequently, 26 defects were subjected to periodontal surgery (surgical group), while 12 defects served as controls. The dogs were sacrificed at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Immediately before sacrifice, endodontic silver points were placed in the gingival crevices as substitutes for periodontal probes and fixed on the teeth. Following block sections, histologic and histomorphometric evaluations were undertaken: location of the probe tip in relation to the apical termination of the junctional epithelium, length of new junctional epithelium in relation to the apical junctional epithelium, and mean length of connective tissue adhesion in relation to the apical junctional epithelium. Probe tips were located -1.37 ± 1.73 mm and -0.20 ± 0.15 mm apical to the apical junctional epithelium for the surgical and control groups, respectively, at 4 weeks, while the probe tip was located 0.58 ± 0.31 mm and 0.40 ± 0.20 mm coronal to the apical junctional epithelium, respectively, at 16 weeks. Length of new junctional epithelium in relation to apical junctional epithelium was significantly less for the surgical than the control group at 4 weeks (0.73 ± 0.60 mm vs 1.19 ± 0.02 mm) and 8 weeks (1.77 ± 0.52 mm vs 2.15 ± 0.00 mm). There were no significant differences between the groups in regard to connective tissue relationship to the apical junctional epithelium. Periodontal probing is not recommended for at least 2 months after surgical procedures; before this stage, probing forces may damage the soft tissue-tooth interrelationship.