To determine whether multiple examiners can demonstrate consistent plaque removal advantages for an oscillating–rotating power toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush.
This was a replicate-use, single brushing, examiner-blind, randomized, two-treatment, four-period crossover clinical trial involving four examiners. Subjects were randomized to one of four treatment sequences involving two toothbrushes: an oscillating–rotating power toothbrush or a manual toothbrush. At each of the four visits, subjects arrived having abstained from oral hygiene for 24 h prior, and brushed with their assigned toothbrush and a marketed fluoride dentifrice under supervision unaided by a mirror. Plaque was assessed by each examiner using the Turesky-Modified Quigley–Hein Plaque Index at each study period before and after brushing. Data was analysed separately for each examiner using the analysis of covariance for crossover design.
Ninety-five subjects between the ages of 18 and 70 met the entrance criteria and were enrolled in the study. Eighty-seven subjects completed all four periods of the study. Both brushes delivered a significant plaque reduction when compared to baseline. Significant treatment differences were observed for all four examiners – ranging from 0.10 to 0.16 – in favor of the oscillating–rotating brush (P < 0.001). There were no adverse events reported or observed for either brush.
All four examiners demonstrated the power toothbrush removed significantly more plaque after a single brushing than the standard manual toothbrush. Both brushes were well tolerated.