Caries management: technical solutions to biological problems or evidence-based care?
ABSTRACT Caries-related clinical decision-making remains a centrepiece of clinical dentistry. However, the oral disease patterns are rapidly changing towards the better among major sections of the populations, most notably in the high-income countries. The caries decline is well documented among children and younger adults, and is gradually seen to trickle into middle and old age as well. Although it is tempting for the dental profession to take the credit for this development, the evidence points in a different direction. The major contribution of dentistry seems primarily related to changes in the treatment philosophies towards a less interventionist approach. This review aims to spur a further change in the diagnostic and treatment criteria used in the management of dental caries for the benefit of the oral health status of our patients. We must come to terms with the fact that our traditional core skills, our manual dexterity and technical competence, have less to offer to oral health than we have been accustomed to think. The dental schools and the professional dental organizations must carry the responsibility for promoting the necessary changes in the caries related clinical decision-making strategies to allow practicing dentists to provide appropriate oral health care to our populations.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of the Nyvad visual-tactile caries-diagnostic criteria when used among children who have been lifelong residents in areas with 'optimal' or low concentrations of fluoride in the drinking water. In each of two areas with drinking water fluoride concentrations of 0.3 and 1.1 ppm (0.3 and 1.1 mg/l) fluoride, respectively, 150 children were clinically examined twice, 2 wk apart, for dental fluorosis, using the Thylstrup-Fejerskov index (TF index), and for dental caries using the Nyvad visual-tactile caries criteria. The prevalence of dental fluorosis was 45% in the 1.1 ppm fluoride area and 21% in the 0.3 ppm fluoride area. When the results of the duplicate caries recordings were compared at the surface level, only minute differences were observed in the percentage agreement (91.7 and 90.7%, respectively) and in the kappa values (0.73 and 0.72, respectively). When individual DFS counts were compared across examinations using Bland-Altman plots and estimation of prediction intervals for the differences, we observed a greater variability of the differences between recordings among children from the low-fluoride area. Contrary to our expectations, a pronounced dental fluorosis background did not reduce the reliability of the caries recordings, which appeared to be slightly less reliable at very low levels of dental fluorosis.European Journal Of Oral Sciences 05/2009; 117(2):161-8. · 1.88 Impact Factor