Radiographic detection of occlusal caries in noncavitated teeth. A comparison of conventional film radiographs, digitized film radiographs, and RadioVisioGraphy
The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of conventional film radiographs, digitized radiographs, and RadioVisioGraphy (RVG) for the detection of dentinal caries in occlusal surfaces of noncavitated extracted teeth. Eighty-one fully erupted extracted third molars were assessed by four observers using five radiographic methods: conventional film radiographs, digitized radiographs with contrast enhancement and with a filtering procedure, and RVG with contrast enhancement and with x function. Scoring criteria were dichotomous. Histologic sections (500 to 600 microns thick) served as the validation criterion. The two digital methods with contrast enhancement tended to perform more accurately than, although not significantly different from, the other three methods (p greater than 0.05). Average likelihood ratios (true positive/false positive) were 4.3 (conventional film radiographs), 4.4 (RVG with contrast enhancement), 3.6 (RVG with x function), 4.9 (digitized radiographs with contrast enhancement), and 3.7 (digitized radiographs with filtering procedure). Observers 1 and 2 (oral radiologists) performed better than observers 3 and 4 with all five methods (p less than 0.005).
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ABSTRACT: This laboratory study compared visual-tactile examination with conventional radiographs, digital radiographs, and laser fluorescence in the detection of occlusal occult caries on extracted premolar teeth.
Extracted premolars without obvious caries or restorations were collected from school dental clinics. Occlusal surfaces of 320 extracted premolars were examined visually with an explorer, then examined using the KaVo Diagnodent unit and scored using specific criteria. The teeth were exposed using conventional and digital radiography, respectively. The radiographs were assessed for dentin radiolucencies beneath the occlusal surface.
Of the 320 teeth used in this study, 302 were scored as sound by visual-tactile examination. Of these, 57 (19%) demonstrated dentin radiolucency on conventional bite-wings, and 245 (81%) were scored as radiographically sound. Thus, the sensitivity and specificity values of the visual-tactile examination compared with conventional radiography were 81% and 44%, respectively. In contrast, Diagnodent produced results of 82% sensitivity and 36% specificity when compared with conventional radiography. When compared to digital radiography, the sensitivity and specificity values of the visual-tactile examination were 90% and 44%, respectively. In contrast, when compared to digital radiography, Diagnodent showed a very low specificity of only 32%, although sensitivity was still high at 91%. Differences in specificity among the techniques were statistically significant (P < .03), whereas differences in sensitivity were not (P > .01).
Although the diagnosis of occult dentinal caries may be further enhanced by the Diagnodent, a combination of visual-tactile examination and either conventional or digital radiography should identify over 80% of lesions.
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ABSTRACT: The material in this study consisted of 38 fully erupted, extracted third molars without clinical cavitation in the occlusal surface. A radiograph was made of each tooth before and after 5, 10, and 20 minutes of stannous fluoride treatment. The radiographs were digitized and subtraction performed between the images obtained after stannous fluoride treatment and the pretreatment image. Two observers assessed the stannous fluoride treated radiographic and the subtraction images on a monitor: 0 = no change, 1 = intensity increase (white area interpreted as a carious lesion) in dentinoenamel area. Caries was assessed on conventional film radiographs made before treatment: 0 = no caries in dentin, 1 = caries in dentin. The presence of caries in dentin was validated histologically. Sensitivity for intensity increase as a sign of caries was overall higher for the subtraction images based on 20-minute treatment than for the radiographic images (0.025 > p > 0.01) but not significantly higher than for the conventional radiographs. However, neither observer gave false-positive scorings in the subtraction images, whereas observer 1 had five false-positive scorings on the conventional films. Observer 2 had none. The subtraction method did not provide a higher sensitivity for dentinal occlusal caries than conventional film radiography, but the intensity increase could be trusted more than the traditional radiolucency as a sign of a dentinal lesion.
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