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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 141

Probe design: Probing the untold story

Department of Periodontics, S.C.B Dental College and Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India

Date of Submission24-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance04-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication16-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Annuroopa Mahapatra
Department of Periodontics, S.C.B Dental College and Hospital, Cuttack - 753 007, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_149_20

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How to cite this article:
Mahapatra A, Patnaik K, Raj SC. Probe design: Probing the untold story. J Dent Res Rev 2021;8:141

How to cite this URL:
Mahapatra A, Patnaik K, Raj SC. Probe design: Probing the untold story. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 4];8:141. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2021/8/2/141/321530


As a Periodontist, the one instrument that we vouch for is a periodontal probe so much so that it is periodontal probing that sets us apart from all the other specialties and general practitioners. It won't be an exaggeration to say that a periodontist knows his/her probe. Further, the UNC 15 probe is the most widely used first-generation probe in academics as well as periodontal research.[1]

And yet, the diameter of the tip of UNC15 probe is not a common knowledge. To verify this, we went through all the relevant chapters in the standard textbooks. We conducted an extensive electronic survey and hand searched a considerable amount of published material. In the plethora of research based on the dimensions and designs of periodontal probe, we came across only a single article reporting the diameter of PCPUNC15 to be 0.57 mm.[2] There are, however, multiple reports of the tip diameter of Williams probe, CPITN probe, and Naber's probe.

Arguably, UNC 15 probe is a first-generation probe the prototype of which is Williams's periodontal probe with a tip diameter of 1 mm.[3] But wouldn't it be an oversight to assume the tip diameter of UNC 15 probe to be the same without a scientific evidence to back it up? Especially since periodontal probing is the very basis of most of the research and diagnosis, which is hinged upon the probing force that is critically dependent on the tip diameter.

This letter is a humble attempt to bring this lack of vital information to the notice of all the researchers and academicians worldwide. I hope that you will take my query into your kind consideration for which I shall be always obliged.

Thanking you,

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ramachandra SS, Mehta DS, Sandesh N, Baliga V, Amarnath J. Periodontal probing systems: A review of available equipment. Compend Contin Educ Dent 2011;32:71-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Holtfreter B, Alte D, Schwahn C, Desvarieux M, Kocher T. Effects of different manual periodontal probes on periodontal measurements. J Clin Periodontol 2012;39:1032-41.  Back to cited text no. 2
Hefti AF. Periodontal probing. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 1997;8:336-56.  Back to cited text no. 3


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