This study evaluated microbial colonization of periodontal pockets subjected to root instrumentation with a curet or a rotating diamond. Ten maxillary and 10 mandibular subgingival pockets were established in the canines of 5 beagle dogs. The subgingival root surface areas were debrided by a sharp curet or a flame-shaped, fine-grained, rotating diamond point. The dogs were fed a plaque-inducing diet for 70 days. Specimens from both instrumentation groups were then harvested and prepared for stereomicroscopic and scanning electron microscopic evaluation. Grading of the extent of subgingival colonization was performed in coded specimens directly on the fluorescent screen of the scanning electron microscope in a grid-counting system. Error of the method was assessed by duplicate counts. The subgingival root surface areas were divided into 3 zones: cervical, middle, and apical, and statistical differences between these zones as well as between the 2 instrumentation groups were calculated. The results revealed that curet-treated surfaces were smoother and promoted less subgingival colonization than diamond-treated surfaces. The difference in amount of bacterial colonization between the 2 groups was statistically significant (P < 0.05) in all zones. Bacterial colonization decreased in apical direction in both instrumentation groups. For the diamond-treated specimens, this decrease was significant (P < 0.05) between each of the 3 zones. In the curet-treated specimens, the decrease was significant only between the cervical and the apical zone (P < 0.05). The present study has demonstrated that subgingival instrumentation roughness significantly influences the subgingival microbial colonization.
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