A study from Amsterdam analyzed two modes of cleaning teeth resulting in a comparison of powered toothbrush to manual toothbrush. The study was conducted at the Department of Periodontology of the University of Amsterdam.
The authors did a PubMed search and identified 83 papers that they considered to include in the study. But the authors wanted to assess plaque formation before and after a single treatment with either a manual toothbrush or a powered toothbrush. Because of these strict exclusion criteria only 36 studies qualified for inclusion.
Each patient who was included in the study had to have dental plaque scores before and after brushing. In addition, only a single brushing with either a manual toothbrush or with a powered toothbrush counted. For better comparison sake researchers used plaque indices. They summarized the amount of plaque present at any time.
Findings of plaque removal
Researchers analyzed the 36 studies and compared plaque removal before and after brushing. They divided this further into manual and powered toothbrushing. 22 studies with powered toothbrushing were significantly more effective in reducing plaque than with manual toothbrushing. 8 studies showed no statistical difference. In 6 studies there was not enough data to come to any conclusion. This means that in 61% of cases powered toothbrushing was superior to manual toothbrushing. Other investigators came to similar conclusions in the past.
More details of the study
There are several tables with a lot of details about plaque removal in this review. However, I decided to not include it in this review. It does not add to the essential information that powered toothbrushing is more effective in removal of plaques when you compare before and after brushing.
A February 2020 review compared two methods of tooth cleaning, either using a manual toothbrush or a powered toothbrush. Researchers performed a metaanalysis in 36 studies. In 61% of the reviewed studies removal of plaque showed a better result with a powered toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush. The gingiva (gums) also showed more improvement with power brushing. The authors concluded that people are better off using powered toothbrushing to maintain the best dental health.