The study aims to assess the reliability of video-graphic method as a tool to screen the dental caries among 12-year-old school children in a rural region of India.
A total of 139 school children participated in the study. Visual tactile examinations were conducted using the Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth (DMFT) index. Simultaneously, standardized video recording of the ... [Show full abstract] oral cavity was performed. Sensitivity and specificity values were calculated for video-graphic assessment of dental caries. Bland-Altman plot was used to assess agreement between the two methods of caries assessment. Likelihood ratio (LR) and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve were used to assess the predictive accuracy of the video-graphic method.
Mean DMFT for the study population was 2.47 ± 2.01 and 2.46 ± 1.91 by visual tactile and video-graphic assessment (P = 0.76; > 0.05). Sensitivity and specificity values of 0.86 and 0.58 were established for video-graphic assessment. A fair degree of agreement was noted between the two methods with Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) value of 0.56. LR for video-graphic assessment was 2.05. Bland-Altman plot confirmed the level of agreement between the two assessment methods. The area under curve was 0.69 (CI 0.57, 0.80, P = 0.001).
Teledentistry examination is comparable to clinical examination when screening for dental caries among school children. This study provides evidence that teledentistry may be used as an alternative screening tool for assessment of dental caries and is viable for remote consultation and treatment planning. Teledentistry offers to change the dynamics of dental care delivery and may effectively bridge the rural-urban oral health divide.