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Br Dent J. 2009 Sep 26;207(6):E12; discussion 282-3. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.854.

Evaluation of in vivo denture plaque assessment methods.

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School of Biology, Chemistry and Health Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD.



Measurement and assessment of denture plaque can provide valuable information regarding an individual's oral health status and assessment of new treatments or products. Current methods tend to rely on subjective indices or image analysis derived planimetric (area measurement) assessment of stained plaque on dentures. Plaque indices are most commonly used to assess plaque coverage without image capture. This is not ideal because the methods are subjective, examiner bias may occur, there is no reproducibility between studies, the methods have lower accuracy and sensitivity than image analysis, and there is no record. To the authors' knowledge, no standardised published method of denture plaque assessment is currently employed for product development and testing.


In this study visual and planimetric plaque assessment methods were compared using reference dentures. In addition, an in vivo study compared these methods for evaluating denture cleanser efficacy.


The results show that blinded image scoring is more representative of the true plaque area coverage than 'live' denture scoring, detecting significant decreases in plaque coverage. Planimetric analysis provides a more sensitive and less subjective technique with greater differentiation between treatments. However, analysis is very time consuming. Thus, a number of recommendations are made regarding quantification of denture plaque for the assessment of cleanser products.

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