Objective: To analyze the diagnostic reliability of various partial-mouth recording systems (PMRS) for the simultaneous assessment of supragingival plaque, calculus, and gingival inflammation in a population of Portuguese adults.
Methods: A single examiner determined the levels of plaque, calculus, and gingival inflammation in 108 subjects using quantitative and dichotomous indices. Half-mouth and ≤10-tooth PMRS were compared with full-mouth examination (FME).
Results: On comparison with FME, Q1 + Q3, Q1 + Q4, Q2 + Q3, Q2 + Q4 combinations and the Ramfjord teeth did not show statistically significant differences in the simultaneous assessment of plaque, calculus, and gingival inflammation using both quantitative and dichotomous indices. Comparison of the prevalence of subjects that presented discrepancy in the three clinical parameters between FME and PMRS, Q1 + Q3 combination was associated with lower percentages of discrepancy (range of discrepancies = 0.9-6.4 percent) and a higher specificity (≥0.90) and sensitivity (≥0.89).
Conclusions: The Q1 + Q3 combination could be particularly applicable in studies investigating relationships between the state of gingival health and environmental or patient-related systemic factors, as well as in the development of oral health scales that include gingival parameters.