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J Korean Acad Periodontol. 2008 Mar;38(1):23-30. Korean. Original Article.
Kwon OJ , Lee JK , Chang BS , Um HS .
Department of Periodontology, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University, Korea.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence of curet fracture and its contributing factors. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-eight periodontal curets which were broken during periodontal treatment in Kangnung National University Dental Hospital for 1 year were used as study materials. The blade thickness of new curets and broken ones was measured using a digital micrometer. Types of treatment procedures, clinical experience of operators, point of breakage, and method of removal of broken fragments were recorded for each broken curet. RESULTS: The incidence of curet fracture in root planing (16.4 curets per 1,000 procedures) was higher than those in flap surgery (7.5) or supragingival scaling (2.7). No curet was broken during supportive periodontal treatment. The incidence of fracture did not seem to be related with clinical experience of operators. The most frequent breakage point of the curets were upper 1/3 of blades. Fifty-six of 58 broken fragments were removed by non-surgical methods. Two broken tips which could not removed non-surgically were left in the pockets, and proved to be removed spontaneously 1 week later. CONCLUSION: Root planing showed higher incidence of curet fracture than any other type of periodontal treatment. Most of the fractured fragments were removed by non-surgical method. Further study is needed to develop methods of removal of the fragments which can not be removed non-surgically.

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