Results of an experimental study of subgingival cleaning effectiveness in the furcation area
For reproducible evaluation, the test teeth were separated vertically into two or three parts, illuminated with ultraviolet light, photographed and evaluated planimetrically. Treatment time (TrT, in s) and relative cleaning efficacy (RCE, in %) were measured.
Overall, 3-rooted molars (RCE in the entire FA, 23.19 ± 20.98%) could be cleaned significantly less effectively than 2-rooted molars (53.04 ± 28.45%, p < 0.001), regardless of the instrument used. In the cleaning of the entire FA, significantly higher RCE values were achieved with conventional mechanical debridement (AIR/US: 46.04 ± 25.96%/39.63 ± 22.02%; AIR vs. US: p > 0.05) than with air polishing (LAPA-1/LAPA-2: 34.06 ± 29.48%/17.09 ± 18.85%; LAPA-1 vs. LAPA-2: p < 0.001) regardless of whether a supra- or subgingival cleaning nozzle used (p < 0.001). Only LAPA-1 with a subgingival nozzle showed RCE values comparable to those of US (41.07 ± 28.95% vs. 39.63 ± 22.02%, p > 0.05). TrT was longest for US (299.40 ± 120.69 s) and shortest for LAPA-1 with a supragingival nozzle (129.67 ± 60.92 s, p < 0.001).
All of the examined instruments were effective to some degree in removing the simulated biofilm from the FA, but they differed substantially in cleaning efficacy. Only one air polishing device (LAPA-1) with a rigid subgingival nozzle was able to achieve RCE values similar to those of US. The current investigation confirmed that conventional mechanical debridement with powered scalers were most effective, but treatment took longer with these devices than air polishing.