Periodontal probes or periodontometers are used to measure pocket depths and have precise and durable markings that enable optimal depth measurement. The results of the depth measurement can be used to detect damage to the periodontium and initiate appropriate therapy. Periodontal probes are indispensable instruments for the initial diagnosis as part of the Periodontal Screening Index (PSI) and also for the documentation and follow-up of periodontal disease. With the help of the PSI, periodontal diseases such as peri-implantitis can be detected and diagnosed at an early stage. To determine the PSI, a periodontal probe is used to measure the depth of the periodontal pockets, the bleeding tendency of the gingiva and the roughness of the tooth surface in the periodontal pockets. Thanks to the lightweight handles of the American Eagle probes, it is possible to accurately estimate the pressure applied during pocket depth measurement.
If a patient suffers from inflammation of the gums, this can be diagnosed through bleeding on probing (BOP). The probe is inserted into the sulcus. If the gums are inflamed, a drop of blood will form. In the case of severe inflammation, there may also be more severe bleeding. If the gums are healthy, no blood will appear.
The probes have coloured markings or milled grooves, which can be used to read the pocket depth. One of the most commonly used periodontal probes is the WHO probe (AEP WHOB). It has markings at 0.5 mm, 3.5 – 5.5 mm, 8.5 mm and 11.5 mm. A small ball at the end of the probe protects the gums from injury. Other frequently used probes include the UNC15 Rung, which has markings at 1 mm and 15 mm, and the Marquis, which has markings at 3, 6, 9 and 12 mm.