Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Deanne Shuman

Committee Member

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Angela C. Martin

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46M45


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the short-term efficacy of a mechanical device (PoliswabR) on supramarginal bacterial plaque removal and gingival health. The sample consisted of 15 residents in a spinal cord unit at the Hampton Veterans' Affairs Medical Center. A single blind, split-mouth, pretest-posttest design was used in the study with each subject serving as his own control. Over a two week period, each participant had his teeth cleaned once daily by a dental hygienist using a PoliswabR containing sodium bicarbonate and dentifrice on one side of the mouth and a toothbrush without dentifrice on the opposite side. The Navy Plaque Index and the Loe and Silness Gingival Index were recorded on each participant at baseline and two weeks after initiation of the study. Data were analyzed using t-tests for dependent samples (alpha set at 0.05) to determine the effectiveness of the PoliswabR as compared to the toothbrush in removing supramarginal bacterial plaque and its effect on gingival health. Results showed the PoliswabR to be as effective as the toothbrush in supramarginal bacterial plaque removal. No statistically significant changes in gingival health were noted in either group.


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