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J Korean Acad Periodontol. 2008 Mar;38(1):15-22. Korean. Original Article.
Kim JS , Kim SJ , Choi JI , Lee JY .
Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Korea.

PURPOSE: The attachment level is strongly associated with tooth loss and provides useful information on patterns of destruction of the periodontium. The presence of horizontal attachment loss would not be detected in clinical measurement. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to estimate the patterns of periodontal destruction based on the attachemnt area and horizontal attachment loss in extracted teeth due to severe periodontitis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 307 teeth satisfied the criteria for assessment. An indirect method, based on digital images obtained from a digital camera and an image analysis program, was used to calculate the area of root surface and attachment loss and the extent of horizontal attachment loss. The data were analysed using SPSS. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences among root surfaces were observed in anterior teeth on the loss of attachment area. However, in posterior teeth statistically significant differences in palatal surfaces of maxillary and mandibular premolar and molar surfaces compared with buccal surfaces were observed. Horizontal attachment loss was observed in 21.5% of the teeth examined. Frequency of horizontal attachment loss was highest in the maxillary first premolar (34.8%), followed by the maxillary second premolar (27.3%) and maxillary canine (25%). The mean length of horizontal attachment loss was 1.5mm. CONCLUSION: More meticulous examination will be needed of the palatal surfaces of maxillary and mandibular premolar and molar teeth. The percentage of teeth with horizontal attachment loss greater than 2.1 mm was 5.2%. Considering the length of curette blades, about 5.2% of teeth were not properly debrided. Therefore, Additional supportive therapy such as local drug delivery has to be considered in treatment of the first maxillary, second premolar and canine due to the high prevalence of horizontal attachment loss.

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