An evaluation of gingival phenotype and thickness as determined by indirect and direct methods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate gingival phenotype (GP) and thickness (GT) using visual, probing, and ultrasound (US) methods and to assess the accuracy and consistency of clinicians to visually identify GP.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The GP and GT of maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth in 29 orthodontic patients (mean age 25 ± 7.5 years) were assessed using probing and US by a single examiner. General dentist and dental specialist assessors (n = 104) were shown intraoral photographs of the patients, including six repeated images, and asked to identify the GP via a questionnaire.

RESULTS: An increasing trend in GT values of thin, medium, and thick biotype probe categories was found, though this was not statistically significant (P = .188). Comparison of probing method to determinations of GT made by US yielded slight agreement (κ = 0.12). Using the visual method, assessors' identification of the second GP determination ranged from poor to moderate agreement (κ = 0.29 to κ = 0.53).

CONCLUSIONS: The probe method is sufficient in differentiating between different categories of GP. However, further research is required to assess the sensitivity of the probe method in recognizing phenotypes in the most marginal of cases. Assessors using the visual method lack the ability to identify GP accurately and consistently among themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalThe Angle orthodontist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Cite this