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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2014, Article ID 345075, 7 pages
Research Article

A Proposed New Index for Clinical Evaluation of Interproximal Soft Tissues: The Interdental Pressure Index

1Department of Periodontology & Implantology, DIBINEM, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via San Vitale 59, 40100 Bologna, Italy
2Section of Pathology, Department of Haematology and Oncological Sciences, Bellaria Hospital, University of Bologna, Via Altura 3, 40100 Bologna, Italy
3Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste, Piazza dell’Ospitale 1, 34100 Trieste, Italy

Received 13 January 2014; Accepted 10 March 2014; Published 1 April 2014

Academic Editor: Stefano Corbella

Copyright © 2014 Checchi Luigi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The interdental pressure index (IPI) is introduced to specifically evaluate clinical interproximal-tissue conditions and assess the effect of interproximal hygiene stimulation. This index scores clinical responses of periodontal tissues to the apical pressure of a horizontally placed periodontal probe. It is negative when gingival tissues are firm, bleeding-free, and slightly ischemic by the stimulation; otherwise it is positive. The clinical validation showed high intraoperator agreement (0.92; 95% CI: 0.82–0.96; ) and excellent interoperator agreement (0.76; 95% CI: 0.14–1.38; ). High internal consistency with bleeding on probing ( ) and gingival index (Cronbach’s ) was obtained. Histological validation obtained high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (80%) for IPI+ toward inflammatory active form. The same results were recorded for IPI− toward chronic inactive form. IPI results as a simple and noninvasive method with low error probability and good reflection of histological condition that can be applied for oral hygiene motivation. Patient compliance to oral hygiene instructions is essential in periodontal therapy and IPI index can be a practical and intuitive tool to check and reinforce this important aspect.